Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Courage For Such A Time As This~


I love to read and usually have a novel and a couple of other books of various topics that I am working on. Through the years I have identified often with the characters of the books and learned great lessons from their life experiences. I have loved reading about historical woman and have quickly gained a new understanding of the trials they have faced and the courage they exhibited throughout life.

I have found courageous woman in the scriptures. To name some in the Old Testament would be: Mother Eve, Sarah, Rebekah, Hanna, Naomi, Ruth, and many others. In the New Testament we find; Anna, Elisabeth, Mary the mother of the Savior, Mary, Martha and again so many other valiant woman. In the Book of Mormon we find Sariah, Nephi's Wife, Mothers of the 2060 Stripling Warriors, Queen Lamoni, and Abish; these were woman of great faith. Our pioneer heritage is full of stories of pioneer woman during the days of the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ such as; Emma, wife of the Prophet Joseph Smith; Joseph Smith's Mother, Lucy; Mary, the wife of Hyrum Smith. The list seems endless with so many that sacrificed so much. They left homes, family and loved ones and passed through searing fires of adversity to re-settle in the Salt Lake Valley where they could experience religious freedom. There are several of my own ancestors among those valiant and courageous woman.

I once read the Book entitled: Mary Fielding Smith. She crossed the plains with her children after her husband, Hyrum Smith, died a Martyr at Carthage jail. Her story was so compelling that for years when I would get into a tough spot I would say to myself; "if Mary Fielding Smith can do it; I can do".

As a Hospice Home Health Nurse I served many patients who quickly became friends and though their lives had a limited time remaining, they fully lived each day with courage.
One night I sat in a Hospital room with a very dear friend who was dying and leaving her six children and a wonderful husband. I heard her talking to an unseen person, telling them she couldn't leave her children and begged to have more time with them. My heart broke as I listened to just her side of the conversation. I knew then that she had loving family members from the spirit world preparing her to enter into that next phase of her existence. How I loved her for her courageous fight.

Even more precious are the stories of my own family and children. Our oldest daughter nearly lost her two week old baby due to a heart condition. Later she experienced the loss of a late term still born son. She suffered through a brief period of depression. Today she is a strong and faithful woman that came through these experiences with great a testimony of faith.
Our younger daughter also has faced a tubal pregnancy, severe digestive problems that required surgery. She has experienced considerable pain and discomfort but through it all, she has gained a new insight in to her own growing faith.

Our son and daughter in law nearly lost an infant daughter. They could do little more than watch and wait as this sweet little one suffered endless pain, discomfort and trauma. Not knowing if she would live or die; they remained strong and true to their faith. They fasted and prayed as healing blessings were given, and in time, this little angel pulled through. The affliction left her blind and developmentally challenged yet she displays her own strength of faith each day with amazing gifts and musical talents. It is humbling to observe our children face this struggle with continued faith and courage, knowing someday through the Grace of Christ, she will be whole again. For now, she brings great joy into our lives.

We have been on the sidelines praying diligently for our children who have faced job losses, career changes, work injustices, independent children and, financial reversals. I pray constantly for them to have the courage to face these obstacles with hope and faith sufficient to endure it all.

Today I live among many whose lives express courage and fortitude. So many of my friends are experiencing life’s battles, one is fighting cancer and recently completed a stem cell transplant that will take 100 days to learn for sure if it has beat the cancer. She faces this challenge with faith, hope and a knowledge that God is in charge and through Him, all will be well.

Some of my friends have wayward children and grandchildren, marriage difficulties, financial concerns, work struggles and the list goes on. I notice how they continue faithfully to love the Lord, follow His counsel and continue to endure their tailored life experiences. In turn, their examples help me to walk my own path of faith more firmly.

In my daily experiences, I observe incredible woman of faith who have risen up to face their strongest challenges with great faith, hope and courage in a loving Savior who stands ready to encircle us in his arms with the love and peace we need.
I believe that like Esther of old, we are here for such a time as this.
"For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father's house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?" Esther 4:14.

Enjoy this video on courage~ The Question Is; How Have You Shown Courage?


Sunday, April 21, 2013

Just Believe~

 This young girl, Jackie Evancho is amazing. The words to the song are inspiring. Enjoy!



Before I lay me down to rest
I ask the Lord one small request
I know I have all I could need
But this prayer is not for me
Too many people on this day
Don't have a peaceful place to stay
Let all fighting cease that your children may see peace
Wipe their tears of sorrow away

(chorus)
To believe in a day
When hunger and war will pass away
To have the hope amidst despair
That every sparrow's counted
That you hear each cry and listen to each prayer

Let me try always to believe
That we can hear the hearts that grieve
Please help us not ignore
The anguished cries of the poor
Or their pain will never leave

(chorus )
To believe in a day
When hunger and war will pass away
To have the hope amidst despair
That every sparrow's counted
That you hear their cries and listen to each prayer

(spoken prayer)
Father, as you see, I'm just a child
And there's so much to understand
But if Your Grace should surround me
Then I'll do the best I can
I promise, I'll do the very best I can

(chorus plus)
To believe in a day
When hunger and war will pass away
To have the hope amidst despair
That every sparrow's counted
That you hear each cry and listen to each
Prayer {Hear each cry and listen to each prayer}
Help us do Your will oh Father
In the name of all that's true
And we'll see in one another
The loving image of You

This is a time to believe and know that we have a loving Heavenly Father
who loves us all and hears and answers each prayer~

Monday, April 15, 2013

In The Midst Of A Gloomy Day -"Be Of Good Cheer"~

 
Last evening I had an interesting conversation with one of my daughters. She has had several issues with her health in recent years. She realizes that through these trials, her testimony of the Savior has grown. However, she mentioned she occasionally wonders if she’s being punished for some past mistake or poor decision. Rest assured that this young woman has a righteous heart; but like all of us, sometimes question why we have to go through so many difficulties in life. I reminded her that God does not deal in the negative. God loves us and wants the best for us. He is fully invested in our happiness. Nevertheless we are here on earth to learn and grow from chastenings and challenges as well as accolades and achievements that we might learn of Christ and come closer to Him. There is purpose in our moments of misery. It seemed easy enough to tell her this, but in the reality of life, I don't always walk the talk. I too have my own moments of "why this; why me, why now".
Just this morning I awoke with a feeling of sadness. Most of my children live great distances from me and I miss seeing each of them. I have several grandchildren that I am not able to be near or to enjoy. Each of my children has his or her share of problems and difficulties – which causes me to worry. In addition, I find our Inner City Mission daunting at times. The people we serve struggle with complex problems that are not easy to change. Life is challenging for us all. When I look at others I recognize that everyone is subject to the difficult trials of life. That is a fact we share in common. Those experiencing those rare moments of peace realize that doesn’t last very long. Our purpose is to experience all that life might offer and to learn from each adventure.
 This morning began with snow and drizzling rain; I felt a cloud envelop my soul. As the morning progressed the news became intense with the report of bombings at the Boston Marathon. There were a few killed and several injured. When such violent situations happen; my heart goes out to those families that are affected. We are living in a world of turmoil; peace has been taken from our earth. Such events multiply our anxieties. We can't run or hide from them because they are foretold and part of the last days.
 As I turned to my daily study of the Book of Mormon I opened the study workbook and found the following thoughts by Elder Neil A. Maxwell from a talk He gave in October Conference, 1982 entitled; "Be of Good Cheer". "We are living in a time in which we shall see things both wonderful and awful. There is no way that we can be a part of the last days and have it otherwise. Even so, we are instructed by our Lord Exemplar, Jesus Christ, to "be of good cheer." (D&C 61:36; D&C 78:18.)"
 "The Savior again said , "In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world." (John 16:33).
"Jesus calls up on us to have deliberate trust in God's unfolding purposes, not only for all humankind, but for us individually, and we are to be of good cheer in the unfolding process."
"We likewise live in a time when the love of many will wax cold. (See D&C 45:27). Fear will therefore increase. Why? Because when men fear, it is because we are not perfect in love. (See 1 John. 4:18.) The less love, the more fear-as well as the more war! As with Paul, however, we may be perplexed, but we are not in despair. (See 2 Cor. 4:18.) For if we are prepared spiritually, we need not fear. (See D&C 38:30)."
"To be cheerful when others are in despair, to keep the faith when others falter, to be true even when we feel forsaken -all of these are deeply desired outcomes during the deliberate, divine tutorials which God gives us-because He loves us. (See Mosiah 3:19.) These learning experiences must not be misread as divine indifference. Instead, such tutorials are a part of divine unfolding."
 To myself and my daughter I will say: In the mist of the gloominess trust in Heavenly Father and His plan for us. President Brigham Young once said: "Learn to be "righteous in the dark." There will be dark days as Elder Neil A. Maxwell also said; "These are our days. This is our time on earth! These are our tasks to be done. And in these days, being of good cheer is part of being valiant in the testimony of Jesus. (See D&C 76:79; D&C 121:29)."
 May we all "Be of Good Cheer" because our Redeemer has overcome the world."
 

Monday, April 8, 2013

"Hope" In All Things~



I have experienced darkness; I know how cold, black and lonely it can be. I have knelt many times in Prayer to plead for the light, to find my way, to be forgiven, to feel His love and to be healed by Him. I have plead for His healing balm when my husband and children have had struggles, at the bedside of children and grandchildren that have been seriously ill, when I have lost loved ones in death, and when I myself have felt the sting of sin, the need for forgiveness and the touch of the Master's hand. I have found light in his tender mercies and his healing balm.  I know that Christ is the way and the Light. I have felt His abiding love for me during this walk of life.
I will follow Him, my Savior, my Redeemer, the Prince of Peace, and our Advocate with the Father.
  At the beginning of the year I choose a word to live by; that word is Hope. As I listened to  speakers during our LDS General Conference this past weekend. I found a great assortment of hope in their messages. Here is a list of what I observed.
Hope in The Atonement of Christ -
Hope in being Obedient -
Hope in the Spirit of the Holy Ghost -
Hope in the Priesthood -
Hope in Service -"If you love your children go serve the Lord"-
Hope in Christ's Word - "Feast Upon The Word's of Christ" -
Hope in who you really are - "You are a Beloved Daughter of Heavenly Father -
Hope in my role as a Daughter of God -
Hope in building a Christ Centered Home -
Hope in Peace - "Christ is the Prince of Peace"-
Hope in Miracles -
Hope in the precious Gift of Agency -
Hope in the Gift of Repentance -
Hope in the Gift of Forgiveness -
Hope in my belief which leads to Hope in Conviction -
Hope in Following Christ -
Hope in Christ my Redeemer - "He is Risen"-
Hope in being a Disciple of Christ - "Come Follow Me"-
Hope in the Lord's love and acceptance of me -
Hope in the Lord's Blessings in my life -
Hope in the blessings of the Sacrament -
Hope in Temples and Covenants -
Hope in Chasity and a return to Virtue -
Hope in Marriage and Families -
Hope in being a missionary - "Every Member A Missionary"-
Hope in the Light radiating from the Savior -
A few comforting thoughts by President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, 2nd counselor in the 1st Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints -  Here is a short video of his message entitled: "The Hope of God's Light". A full video of his talk can be found here.
"Darkness exists but do not dwell there; choose to radiate light and serve others".
"God's light is real; it has the power to heal."
Walk in the light; become the person you were designed to be."
"Darkness can not stand against the Savior's love."
A thought from Greg Olsen in the book entitled: "Walk With Me"; "Christ reminds us that He has weathered the storm for us and trod the rocky path in our behalf so that we may have joy here and now...He is the Living Water that flows with pure love and carries us to that transcendent place of peace and happiness. With Christ's perspective, we can experience heaven, not only as a distant hope on the horizon but as one sanctuary moment by moment."
Art by Greg Olsen~
In my life I know that Christ is the light, the truth and the way - I desire to follow Him; to do his Will and to Serve Him with all of my heart, mind and soul. He is my Living Water and my Daily Bread.





Thursday, April 4, 2013

The Simple Woman's Daybook ~Come Listen To A Prophets Voice


                                                          For Today - April 4th, 2013
 
Outside my window..... I have a fantastic view of the bay area in San Diego. This is one of my favorite places to visit. There is a marina next door to our Hotel room. The view is breathtaking and I have watched some Navy ships coming into port. It is a beautiful clear day with the temperatures in the 60's.
I am thinking....that I had better get this post completed before my husband comes back from his meetings so we can go sight seeing this afternoon.
I am thankful....that my dear husband decided to take me with him on his trip. It is so wonderful to get a way for a few days. I wish it was more of a vacation but we have had some great moments thus far walking around the area.
In the kitchen.....it will be a night for dining out. We will probably go to dinner with some of the people he works with. We have already went to two different restaurants and the food has been yummy. I have been enjoying the fish dishes. 
I am wearing.....a green blouse, black pants and black slippers.
I am creating.....this post.
I am wondering.....how our little dog Sammy is doing. He was left with a friend and he enjoys staying at their home. I am going to think of him as being very happy.
I am going.....to enjoy the quiet moments in my hotel room, the view from my window, a day of rest, reading, blogging and sight seeing.
I am reading.....too many books. I brought with me on this trip the book entitled: "Refined By Christ" by Toni Sorenson. I loved her other book entitle Defined By Christ. I am looking forward to reading this new one.
 Refinedbychrist_detail
I also brought the last of the series book # 5: "Light &Truth - The Journey Home" by Darryl Harris.
 I have enjoyed the series thus far. It is basically a LDS Pioneer Story that starts in England and goes through the  early day struggles of the pioneers as they made their trek to Utah. It also takes in the story of the Mormon Battalion. There is a Mormon Battalion museum and visitor's center. here in San Diego. The link above can tell you about this center.
I am also enjoying reading the Book of Mormon. Right now I am in the chapters found in 3 Nephi. This is one of my favorite parts of the Book of Mormon. This is the chapters on the Coming of Christ to America that I just wrote on my blog for an Easter post. 
I am hoping....that we get an opportunity to spend more time on the beach. I could go alone; but I enjoy being with my husband more. 
I am learning.....to play the piano better. I have learned several hymns and have almost completed one of my more complicated pieces.
I am looking forward......to our LDS General Conference which is held April 6th and 7th. We will be home by then. We are hosting my son's teachers quorum of 11 boys ages 14 to 15 years old. They are going to stay over night Friday. They will attend the Priesthood session at the Conference center in downtown Salt lake City on Saturday Evening. We are so blessed to have all of the sessions of conference broadcast through TV. These conferences are held every six months. We will be hearing from our Latter-day Prophet and President of our Church; Thomas S. Monson. This link will tell you of his history.
There will also be messages by all of the 12 Apostles and other general authorities. There will also be messages from one of the members of the General Primary Presidency, the General Young Women's Presidency and the General Relief Society Presidency. Conference time is a spiritual uplifting time in my life. I love the messages and I always feel so inspired by them. I will probably pick out one of my favorite talks to do a post on. You can enjoy conference with us here. starting at 10 am and again at 2 pm. Mountain Time. Come and listen to a prophet's voice and hear the word of God. The above links will tell you about these different programs of the church.
One of my favorite quotes....is; "Our task is to become our best selves." ~ President Thomas S. Monson.
I am pondering.....on what I might do to help my oldest granddaughter. She is moving to Iowa and I feel sad that she is going. I wanted to help her with some things that are going on in her life; but wasn't really able too. She is a beloved granddaughter and I am sad that she is moving away. She will always be in my prayers.
One of my guilty pleasures is.......that I love to take naps. I don't get to very often but when I do I love it.
One of my favorite things......is to shop for and wear new shoes. Yes, I am one of those who loves a beautiful new pair of shoes. While losing some weight recently my shoe size has gone from a 7 to a 6 1/2. Awe.....new shoes for me.
 Something new about me...... is I love go swimming. I haven't been swimming for a very long time. When I was a pre-teen I decided that I was going to swim across Fish Lake; which was at least three or more miles across. My parents gave me permission to do this. However, I am sure they already knew that when I got into the water I would find it to cold. It was way too cold.
A pet peeve.....I hate it when I have to wait in too many lines; especially in the airports.
A few plans for the rest of the week......enjoy my last two days here and hopefully spend more time on the beach and enjoy more good food, enjoy my son and grandson for a few moments on Friday evening and Saturday morning and  enjoy watching all the sessions of conference  over the weekend.
A peek into my day.......

Sweet Little Ducklings In A Pond - Outside our hotel ~

Be sure to hop on over to the Simple Woman to check out the other day book entries! (Or better yet, do a simple day book entry yourself!
 

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