Sunday, October 26, 2008

David's Quilt--Finished!

I finally finished David's quilt! Here is the progress, from start to finish.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Come and Get Your Happiness

In the midst of all the angst and uproar of the times we live in,

A little happiness for your day:

Turn up your speakers and read along, if you wish:

Come And Get Your Happiness

Lyrics/Music Yellen/Pokrass

Why are grown up peoples faces
Wrinkled like a lot of prunes?
Money, money, that's what chases them
Around like crazy loons.
I think they make a big mistake;
Wealth and happiness that counts
Are free to all in large amounts.

There's millions worth of golden sunbeams
That everybody can possess.
All God's children got success.
Come and get your happiness!

There's billions worth of silver moonbeams,
Enough for everyone I guess.
What's a million more or less?
Come and get your happiness!

Among the wildwood of your happy childhood
Where you were Jills and Jacks
In raggy britches, there's a lot of riches
On which you don't pay any income tax.

So get under that blue heaven
Away from trouble and distress.
Just find Mother Nature's address,
And come and get your happiness!

Monday, October 20, 2008

The Furious Wind Blowing Toward the Promised Land

The other day I was reading in the Book of Ether, specifically the 6th chapter. I was reading about how the Jaredites got into those barges, commended themselves unto God, and launched forth into the seas. Then God caused "a furious wind" to blow them to the promised land. As I read, I tried to put myself in their place. What would that have been like?

OK, you're in a large, dark barge. True, there are the lighted stones prepared by the brother of Jared and touched by the Lord. But there are only two, maybe with about the light power of a couple of 40-watt bulbs. I doubt they are like flood-lamps.

Then there is that "furious wind" and "great and terrible tempests." Mountain waves crash over the barge and you're "buried in the depths of the sea." Over and over. Are you seasick yet? This goes on for virtually a full year!

There are also "flocks and herds." How do the animals deal with all this? What does the place smell like?! When there is a brief period of calm (or at least not "mountain waves" crashing upon you), how glad you must be to go up top and open that hole in the roof!

Now here is the amazing part: This whole time, while all this scariness and mess is going on, all these furious winds and mountainous waves, you "thank and praise the Lord all the day long."

I wonder, did they ever start to doubt? Did they ever think: "Well, this wasn't such a hot idea after all! I'm going to pound that Mahonri! As soon as I quit throwing up." Or: "Has God forgotten us? This can't be the way a loving God would treat His children!"

I wondered what application this has for our lives. Do we ever find ourselves in dim places, with mountainous waves crashing over us, pushing us down and down? Do we think things stink sometimes and feel sick to our stomachs with worry and doubt? Do we see no end to the plight we are in? Do we feel that God has forsaken us and left us to the fury of the cold world?

Maybe He's just blowing us toward the Promised Land.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Tagged--Four Things...

My good friend Lea Anne tagged me... My first tag! I'm so honored. :-D

So, here goes:

Four things I love about my husband:

  • He's funny--even when he doesn't mean to be.
  • He has a tender heart--even cries at movies.
  • He thinks I'm cute.
  • He is diligent and faithful in all he does.

Four movies I would watch more than once:

  • Star Wars: A New Hope (the real Star Wars movie)
  • It's a Wonderful Life
  • Lilo and Stitch (I love the music--especially the Hawaiian songs)
  • Arsenic and Old Lace

Four TV shows I watch:

  • Gosh, at our house we mostly end up watching PBS kid shows!

Four places I've been:

  • Cologne, Germany
  • Hawaii
  • New York City
  • Niagra Falls

Four places I'd like to go:

  • Hawaii
  • England
  • Caribbean
  • New Zealand

Four people who email me regularly:

  • Lea Anne
  • Doffy
  • My Dad
  • My friend ArLynn

Four things I would like to eat:

  • Pizza
  • Fried chicken
  • Potato salad

Four things I look forward to next year:

  • having the elections over
  • trying again to have a (semi) decent garden/yard
  • a new calendar
  • summer vacation

Four people I tag:
  • Jamie B.
  • Lisa W.
  • Susan F.
  • Rachel H.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Another Chance to Win a Freebie

Hi! The people at Crock-Pot are giving away 5 free eLume Programmable Slow Cookers this weekend. To have a chance to win one, you have to go to A Year of CrockPotting and enter a comment with your email address. This sounds like a nifty crock-pot. Here is a review of it. After it becomes available to the public, it's supposed to be about $99 at Bed, Bath and Beyond. Here is a link to the company's web site. Do you like your crock-pot as much as I do mine? (In fact, I'm making taco soup in mine right now.) I'd love one with all these extra features!

Monday, October 6, 2008

"You Can Live a Happy Life..."

I listen to wa-a-y too much talk radio. And I am a worrier. A bad combination. The economy is going down the tubes. Our politicians can't be trusted. They've outlawed light bulbs. Terrorists want to blow us all up. Marriage and families are in crisis. Natural disasters are happening everywhere. And any time now The Big One could shake the Williamette Valley and leave us all grasping our 72-hour kits and wishing we had more food storage. My garden stunk this year, and everyone I know is having all kinds of problems. You get the picture. Worm-eating time. bleah

One day recently as I was driving, mulling all this over, a phrase from a song you know came drifting through my mind:
"You can live a happy life in this world of toil and strife..." (Hymn 228, specifically verse 4).


And I got to thinking: If I'm waiting for the world to be perfect and problem-free before I'm happy, I'm gonna be waiting a l-o-o-ng time. What if I'd been a pioneer, forced out of my home in mid-winter at the point of a gun? What if I'd lived during the Great Depression or the flu epidemic of 1918? What if I'd lived in Europe during WW1 or 2? Surely there were people then who coped and were happy? Good grief! I've got it soooo good!

Then the song rolled on in my mind to the "if." "If there's sunshine in y
our heart." And I realized (what I'm sure you know) that the sunshine, the sun is...the Son.

"Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the word: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

As long as we have the Savior in our hearts, we can handle anything this old world can throw at us. We can "do all things through Christ, which strengtheneth us."

You've heard all the talks about looking for the good, enjoying the journey, noticing the little things that bring happiness. I just wish I could remember them more often!

Sometimes when I'm starting to panic, I have to stop and focus on the moment: the smell of baking bread, the sound of my son practicing the piano, the feel of my soft bathrobe, the fact that I'm safe right now. The Savior is aware of me and my family; He loves us. He is watching over us and will help us through whatever may come.

You probably know these things already, but I need to write it down, so that when I forget again in a couple of weeks, I can come back here and remember:

I can live a happy life in this world of toil and strife if there's sunshine in my heart...

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

The War on Women

A former bishop of ours recently wrote on his blog:

"Much of my time spent in counseling was with women, most of them unhappy in some way. Although they came to me with many different types of pain (marriage, children, callings, etc.), the common thread seemed at its basic level to be a lack of self-worth or a sense of personal value. Even with some of the strongest sisters, who served with tremendous capacity in a wide range of responsibilities, there was a near-constant struggle with feelings of inadequacy. After several months of this, it became clear to me that I was in fact witnessing a very subtle plot against women, designed by the Master Deceiver. The intent of it was obvious: If he could get women to forget who they really were, instead focusing on who the world told them they should be and what they must do in order to have value, then entire families, even generations, would be at risk. I remember once standing in front of our Relief Society sisters and telling them that they were being targeted and that if they weren't rock solid in their testimony and commitment, his lies would prevail in their lives."

I hope you got to attend the recent General Women's broadcast. If not here is the link to the audio archives and transcripts. I was so inspired and impressed by the forcefulness of the talks. We were so encouraged and admonished in love. I can't express how I felt sitting there with friends that night, drinking in the beautiful messages.

This former bishop also referred to a recent Women's Conference address by Sheri Dew, which further emphasized the theme of rising to be all that our Heavenly Father wants us to be. You can read it here.

Maybe you're like me--it's all to easy to feel small and insignificant. To slip into a rut and just coast along. These talks remind me who I am and what my Heavenly Father would like to have me do. The Master Deceiver is indeed hard at work. He knows our weaknesses and where to pick at us. I, too, know many women who struggle with feelings of inferiority, of not measuring up, of lacking skills or talents or worth. I know others who have bought into the world's messages, who reject the Church and its teachings, who think they know better.

I wonder what messages we send our daughters or the young s around us when we struggle with these issues.

I wish I could remember every day the thoughts and feelings these talks and conferences bring to me. Maybe that's why we need to have the talks and conferences come around on a regular basis. The Adversary is certainly working every day. How thankful I am for wise bishops, Women's Conference, Relief Society broadcasts, wise speakers and leaders! How thankful I am for the examples of good women all around me! Many of you are my examples and I am awed to be in your lives. Thank you!