Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Strong & Awesome

I was recently privileged to spend some time with Robin and Dennison and their sweet little family. There is never a dull moment in their home, there is always someone to feed, bathe, comfort, play with, or tell stories to. I don’t know that my presence made much difference, but they continually inspire and teach me ~ they make me want to be better.

As I reflect on their circumstances I long to see things the way God does. His purposes are accomplished through every-day living as well as in times that are not so ordinary. He has many things to teach us, and it seems that He prefers we learn most often by experience.

Like most moms, I would rather go through painful experiences or severe challenges myself rather than watch my children face them.  I have wondered if our Father in Heaven feels about all of us like we do about our children and grandchildren. Does He feel sorrow when we weep? Does He have a heavy heart when we struggle and become discouraged? Ascribing such feelings to God may seem to be making Him too human, or, maybe these charitable feelings we have about those we love so dearly are godly, placed in our hearts by our Father. We read in the scriptures that Jesus wept when he found Mary and Martha grieving over the death of their brother Lazarus, one of His close friends. Surely He knew that Lazarus would soon come forth from the tomb at His command, that tears being shed in sorrow would be turned to tears of joy, and yet He wept.

If comfort, peace, and happiness were all our Father wants for us, then what role would difficulties play in our lives? If our sorrows and struggles cause Him sorrow as well, why would He not eliminate such experiences? What benefit is there in the challenges of life that is worth the cost to us and to Him? If I could see as our Father sees, I would understand that there are things that can be learned best in such times.

In General Conference a few weeks ago, Elder Paul Johnson shared this quote and story in the Sunday morning session:
 “No pain that we suffer, no trial that we experience is wasted. … All that we suffer and all that we endure, especially when we endure it patiently, builds up our characters, purifies our hearts, expands our souls, and makes us more tender and charitable. … It is through sorrow and suffering, toil and tribulation, that we gain the education that we come here to acquire.” 
Orson F. Whitney, in Spencer W. Kimball, Faith Precedes the Miracle (1972), 98.
Recently a nine-year-old boy was diagnosed with a rare bone cancer. The doctor explained the diagnosis and the treatment, which included months of chemotherapy and major surgery. He said it would be a very difficult time for the boy and his family but then added, “People ask me, ‘Will I be the same after this is over?’ I tell them, ‘No, you won’t be the same. You will be so much stronger. You will be awesome!’

In the April Ensign magazine, I found this statement (p. 27):
“When someone has an ailment or an illness and they are healed as the result of a blessing, their faith is being strengthened. But for those who aren’t healed but continue faithful, their faith is being perfected. The first is a faith-promoting experience. The second is faith-perfecting.”
Which brings me back to Robin and Dennison. I am sure they wish they could take the medicine, the treatments, the ‘pokes’, the nausea, and all the rest upon themselves rather than see Carter go through it. They know there is divine purpose in their difficulties, and they are facing them with love, faith, and determination. I stand in awe at their strength and good cheer. Their whole family is on the way to being so much stronger, they will be awesome!

Thursday, April 7, 2011


I left home Tuesday morning to spend some time with Robin and her family while Carter continues his chemotherapy. It took several days to gather things and pack, and I got so excited to be with Robin's family again; but I wasn't prepared for how hard it would be to leave home and my husband. He was so helpful getting everything ready for the trip, he made sure the truck was in good shape for the long drive and even programmed the GPS so I wouldn't get lost. Pulling out of the driveway all by myself with over 800 miles to drive was difficult but I knew it was the right thing to do. 
Many years ago, when we lived in Idaho and our kids were small, Dave spent about 8 months working in California. I stayed home and tried to fill the role of mom and dad, it was a difficult time for all of us. Dave came home every month or so and I loved that, but here was always another goodbye waiting around the corner. During one of those long months I saw a movie called 'The Other Side of the Mountain'  about an Olympic skier named Jill Kinmont who also had some separations from the one she loved. One scene gave me comfort; she and her sweetheart were saying goodbye and as she was crying he said 'just be grateful that you love someone so much that it hurts so deeply to say goodbye'. 
I thought of that Tuesday morning,and a few times since. I feel like only half a person without my sweetheart, I guess we have started the process of becoming one.
The next few weeks will be full of joy and wonderful opportunities here with my grandchildren, and I look forward to the day when Dave comes to drive home with me and I will feel whole again. 

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Carl Bloch exhibit

Last week Dave and I went to Carl Bloch exhibit at the BYU Museum of Art.  When we arrived I rented an iPad which was loaded with a program that gave commentary on the paintings on display and others in the collection. I saw things in the paintings I might have missed without the comments and observations offered.  Since we went on Monday afternoon, I suppose it was a family night activity for many, there were lots of families there with their small children. But there was a reverent feeling in the gallery,  people moved about quietly. There was plenty of room to sit in front of each painting, and many were there reflecting on the beauty of the art and on the majesty of the Son of God.

This was the first painting we saw, it is a beautiful rendition of Thomas and the resurrected Lord.
It depicts the moment Thomas, having doubted that Christ had been resurrected, believed. I think I understand his feelings as he realized that all Jesus had foretold about himself was true; maybe he had one of those precious experiences where he had a mighty change of heart and became even more converted, changed by the ministry and love of Jesus.

Another painting that was on display.  The Savior's love for children is evident in his face, perhaps we are all included in his protective embrace as this child is. How careful and tender we should be with each other, always reflecting the love Jesus has for all of us.

 This painting was not included in the exhibit, but it is one of my favorites. It hangs in the Provo temple where I see it often. It reminds me of the love the Savior has for women, how much he wants to teach us. His invitation is constant to all of us, to come unto Him and he will reveal himself to us, as he did to this Samaritan woman to whom he testified that he is the Son of God.

I love this painting. It depicts the humanity of our Savior, reminding me that his suffering for our pains, sicknesses and sins was given at great cost to himself.

The healing power of Jesus is beautifully shown here. Just as he caused the lame to walk, the blind to see, and the lepers to be cleansed,  he can heal our sorrow, our discouragement, our loneliness, grief,  sinfulness, and pain of any kind. He is the Healer, the Bread of Life, the Living Water.

This painting was new to me, I don't remember seeing it before. The look on the mother's face is heartbreaking, her grief and despair are evident. The heavy burden of the death of her child weighs heavily upon her, even as the Savior, he who will raise the dead, comes through her door.

I had an experience with the scriptures recently about the healing power of our Savior.
I was reading 3 Nephi 17: 7-10
Have ye any that are asick among you? Bring them hither. Have ye any that are lame, or blind, or halt, or maimed, or bleprous, or that are withered, or that are deaf, or that are afflicted in any manner? Bring them hither and I will cheal them, for I have compassion upon you; my bowels are filled with mercy.
 For I perceive that ye desire that I should show unto you what I have done unto your brethren at Jerusalem, for I see that your afaith is bsufficient that I should heal you.
 And it came to pass that when he had thus spoken, all the multitude, with one accord, did go forth with their sick and their afflicted, and their lame, and with their ablind, and with their dumb, and with all them that were afflicted in any manner; and he did heal them every one as they were brought forth unto him.
 And they did all, both they who had been healed and they who were whole, bow down at his feet, and did worship him; and as many as could come for the multitude did akiss his feet, insomuch that they did bathe his feet with their tears.
As I read this passage I wished I had been there, to have taken someone I love, or even to have presented myself, to be healed, to have felt his love and power as he ministered to his people.  But I have been healed by him, I have felt his love and power and compassion.  Someday I will see him again, and will reverently bow before him and bathe his feet with tears of gratitude and love for his mercy, goodness, patience, and willingness to forgive one so undeserving as I.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Some random pictures

I am the kind of person who always needs a project to work on.  
I recently made these hats for Robin's boys.
more hats for Carter and Jude
I sent this monkey hat last month, I'm making another one right now.

I made these blood-bug eating monsters for Carter.
 He is trying to grow his own and I thought these might help.

2nd ward Relief Society, we love these girls!
The 2nd ward Relief Society had a dinner a few weeks ago and so we got a picture. We have come to love these young women, and will be so sad to see many of them leave when the semester is over in a few weeks.

Rick's dog Mateo, he is spoiled
We recently went to see Rick, and got to meet his new dog. I have to say that he is very spoiled. 

I caught Cache stacking my cans
Cache keeps us hopping. He can now open the pantry door by himself and is quite fascinated by it all. 
Sometimes he just climbs up on the step stool to look around in there. Luckily there is a flashlight in there too, so he is never in the dark.


I got this picture from the Brundage Mountain web site, Jonas is quite well known there.  
What a skier he is, I think he loves it as much as his dad does, if that's possible.