Friday, February 14, 2014

Christlike Attributes and Patriarchal Blessings

Recently I decided I need to be more focused, more purposeful in my efforts to become more Christlike. (The world is so darned effective in distracting me from the most critical use of my time and energy!) Studying the Savior's life, pondering his teachings and attributes is one of those efforts that can yield so much more than you would think. In a few short days of this focus I've already felt improvement and hope in my efforts.

In the process of this studying, I felt impressed today to re-read my patriarchal blessing. I cannot, ever, do that without becoming emotional. Today it hit me that here is an individualized, inspired instrument that can help me do exactly what I most need to do: become more like Christ.

In this simple document my gracious and loving Heavenly Father has pointed out to me strengths--attributes--I already possess, qualities I worked on developing pre-mortally that are Christlike in nature. He also kindly but soberly highlights areas where I'm not so Christlike: weak spots, vulnerabilities, danger zones that will keep me from this all-important goal.

Reading my patriarchal blessing is something of a two-edged sword. I'm old enough now to see the sad consequences of warnings I failed to heed, and that's painful. On the other hand, I always feel hopeful as I read my blessing. I sense that even though I've goofed, sinned, fallen short (way short) of the glory of God, Heavenly Father and His Saving Son know how to save me still. And Holy Ghost starts sending small nudges as I continue my path toward salvation.

What a blessing to belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints! What a blessing to access the ancient gift of patriarchal blessings, which offer the opportunity God has always offered His children of being personally directed toward their personal salvation, if they so choose.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

New Beginnings

All you Mormons out there will know by my post title where I've been tonight: our ward Young Women New Beginnings. I was there to accompany a musical number, but was the recipient of the spirit of the LDS Young Women program, as well as a beneficiary of the Holy Spirit.

These young women are loved! They are sacrificed for. They are prayed for, ministered to, and agonized over. They will probably recognize how valued they are now in about 10 to 15 years, when suddenly the shoe is on the other foot and they are the adult leaders, doing the same things for a new generation of Young Women.

Interestingly, I began my day with 21 kindergarteners. (Whoops--back up the schedule: after spending an hour with high school freshmen and sophomores in Early Morning Seminary, talking about sexual sin and why it is so abominable in the eyes to Heavenly Father, THEN I scurried over to the grade school and hung around with kindergarteners.) Anyway, kindergarten: another sort of new beginning.

I look at those little ones, some of whom already have some big hurdles in front of them, and I hope that somewhere in their homes, their communities, their society are people willing to pray for, minister to, and sacrifice for them. It isn't that big a jump from five year-olds in kindergarten to fifteen year-olds in Young Women. So much of their current happiness and their future joys depends on the adults in their lives being willing to BE the adults in their lives, teaching, directing, disciplining, and loving them.

Beginnings are just so important.

One day record

Yes. That is how long I kept my recent blogging streak going. Sad, I know. I did THINK about it yesterday, but should have acted while it was on my mind.

So: this early morning post is a catch-up for yesterday. Hopefully I'll write again tonight.

Yesterday I had planned to go to Billings after Seminary for a much-needed restocking shopping trip, but 80% chance of snow in Billings persuaded me to stay home instead. I had a nice video chat with Rachell and Maddy. Maddy was heavily into "Happy Valentines Day, Nana!" preparations, and Rachell shared some scriptural insights she gained in her morning study. I love talking to my kids about anything, but spiritual insights and growth are my favorite conversations with them.

I'm trying--again--to be better about my eating habits. I was trained to have a sweet tooth and successfully and unfortunately passed that on to my own kids. But lately I've been struggling to establish better eating habits. Two articles in the most recent Ensign have encouraged me to keep trying. So yesterday, I spent a goodly amount of time cooking up a supply of healthy grains to keep in the fridge and freezer: barley, lentils, and brown rice. It felt good to work at something healthy.

I also took Bear on an hour-plus walk into the hills. He enjoyed it; I plugged into an interview with Elder D. Todd Christofferson and his wife, which was very interesting. I was heartened to hear Sister Christofferson's voice: it's lower, very Utah-inflected, and she sounds like someone I'd like to know. For some reason I have a hard time listening to women leaders who have girly-voices. Don't ask me why. I know it has nothing to do with their intelligence or inspiration, etc. I just enjoy a more solid tone of voice. Anyway, they seem like very ordinary people. Ordinary people doing extraordinary things.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Most of My Life Has Disappeared

I just read a summary of Stephanie Nielsen's talk at the 2014 RootsTech conference. She encouraged people to keep records-to be consistent, to record something about every day of their lives.

I am lousy at long-term commitments like blogging.

Sunday Grandma Roberts came to lunch and brought with her a shoebox of cards and letters Grandpa saved over the last 40-something years. Just one shoebox. There were a few letters from me in there, several more from Shane from various points in history (missionary letters, newlywed letters). In one of Shane's letters, written two months after our marriage, he told about having to take me into the Emergency room at UtahValley Hospital to have stitches put in my hand, a result of me breaking a glass while washing dishes after supper that night.

Shane told his dad that the emergency room physician, Dr. Hooker (for whom Shane had done landscaping at the doctor's Edgemont home), stitched me up, bandaged my hand, and said, "Don't get that wet for a week." Shane told him, "I think she did that on purpose so I'd have to wash the dishes." To which the doctor responded, "Make that thirty days."

You know what? I don't remember the incident at all. I remember that I had to get stitches shortly after we were married, but I just remember the fact, not the actual incident or anything surrounding it.

That is sad. More than sad--it's tragic. If I had been blogging all my youth and adult life--journaling in the old days--I would have a detailed memoir of my life. So much of my earthly existence would be recorded and accessible. But it's not. Truly, you lose part of yourself when you don't keep records.

So--for the record--here's what I did today:

Went to Seminary at 6ish, hoping there wouldn't be four inches of snow to shovel off the sidewalk, like there was Sunday morning (except I don't have to shovel on Sundays). Bonus! No new snow.

Stayed in Cowley to prepare tomorrow's lesson, then drove to Powell to get the car tires rotated and the oil changed. There was an hour and a half wait--boring--and then I picked up some Christmas gifts from the clearance toy section of Lintons and filled the car up with gas ($2.97/gallon). Resisted buying a cinnamon roll at Maverick, although I was sorely tempted.

Got home about 11:30. Let Bear out of the kennel; threw in some laundry, read and sorted the mail. Changed clothes, ate some diet barley soup--I'm getting tired of that stuff--and took Bear out for a 3 mile run. Clarification: I drove the car, he ran beside it for three miles. It only got up to about 10* today.

Came home, did some online diaper shopping for a family in our ward with new twins, as well as for a replacement rack bottom rack for our dishwasher. Those things are ridiculously expensive.  $175!! That's one-third the price of an entire new dishwasher. I found a gently-used one on Ebay for $67. Much more reasonable. Besides, it will match the gently-used upper rack.

Checked my email and found Elder Russell Roberts' weekly email, which always perks me up. Except this one made me feel slightly guilty for some less-than-optimistic comments about our coming ward boundary realignments. Repent, Mormon Mama!

Did some dinner prep, tried to take a nap--it lasted 13 minutes. Got on the elliptical for nearly an hour; I could sustain that because Rachell called shortly after I started and talking to her was a great distraction from the workout.

Wrote an email per Rachell's request for some life history info on me and Shane which she needs for her online history class. Shane got home from work; visited with him as I finished supper. We ate, read part of the Sunday school lesson for our FHE, went to Grandma's and visited with her for about an hour, came home, read the RootsTech talk by Sister Nielsen, am writing this and then plan to get ready for bed.

There we go. In 100 years will someone will find this interesting?