My life is a journey...I never know who or what I will meet just around the next bend that will give my life experience!

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Healing And Forgiveness...

My husband and I recently visited the Healing Garden at Samaritan General Hospital in Corvallis where he was having his shoulder repaired.  It is a beautiful garden, designed to bring peace, calm and healing.  In the center of the garden is a fountain/pool that is shaped like an open eye (my interpretation).  Lining the bottom of the pool are hundreds, maybe thousands, of pebbles/stones that are constantly being washed by the water flowing into the pool, over the stones, and out again.

I closed my eyes and imagines that each one of those stones represented someones pain, hurting, anxiety or dis-ease (a term that one of my professors in Nursing School gave us).  The water continually washing over the stones represented the love of our Savior and His cleansing, healing love that gives us peace.

Like a single pebble among all the pebbles in the pool, I am "one," I am "unique," and I am troubled.  My eyes have difficulty focusing on only one, but sometimes a new experience opens up an old wound and my mind gets stuck in a monotonous groove of playing the same track on a scratched record over and over and over again in my head...focusing on only that one thing... hurt.   And I ask myself, where is forgiveness?

Let's focus on the hurt, whether it be hurt feelings, an open wound, a surgery or a feeling you have for someone you love.  Sometimes, like the pebbles on the beach or in the pool, the individual hurts in our lives pile up and it is impossible to sift out the one that has to be dealt with most.  This is true especially if one has not dealt sufficiently with forgiveness.  It is hard to focus on just that one!  And when that same hurt repeats itself again over the years, the wound fills up with even more pebbles.

I tell myself, as the Gospel teaches us, that it is more important for me to forgive those who have caused me pain and move on.  But when that pain is repeated again and wounds my child, then my heart breaks open and I feel their pain and forgiveness is once again hard to find.

So, I close my eyes and listen and feel as the cleansing water of our Savior's love washes over me and I know I (we) must forgive in order for the hurt to heal once again.  If you look carefully near the center of the picture above, you will see, like I did, a red stone shaped like a heart.  Our Savior's love has given that one stone a new chance to shine and share the healing love with others.  That one stone has experienced the healing process of forgiveness.

I pray that everyone who is suffering right now will look inside your heart, identify the pain you are feeling, then let the healing waters of love and forgiveness wash over you and put you at peace.

There is one who has suffered far more than you or I ever will.  He was beaten, spat upon, flogged with stripes and nailed to a cross.  He took upon himself all of the sins, pains, sorrows and suffering of the world and gave up His life for me...for you...for all of mankind...and yet He could say, "Father forgive them, for they know not what they do."  "Such love hath no man... than he give up his life for a friend."

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Smelling Tulips, Loving Sunshine, Opening Old Wounds...

I married an amazing man!  He does so much for me and even though I am not his mother...he gave me Tulips!  My daughter, Heather sent me Tulips! (And Sherry's Berries!)  They both know how much I love them.  They don't always last as long as I would like, but "during their lifetime, I can love them and cherish the sentiment."

It has been a Mother's Day with mixed blessings, hurts, and memories.

BLESSINGS:  Besides Heather's thoughtful gift and my husband's flowers, I was blessed with an adorable homemade card from JerriAnne, some yummy lip balm and a beautiful card from Kim, loving sentiments on Facebook from Mark, Debi and all!  And I got a call from my son, Billy.  (I'm sure as the day goes on, others will call.)  It is reminders such as these that bless my life and make me cherish the day I first became a mother and all the other days as well.  I love Motherhood...and today I am reminded in spiritual ways that it is truly a Partnership with God!

SUNSHINE:  After nearly a week of rain, we were blessed with sunshine today.  Sunshine always makes me my happiest.  On the Coast of Oregon, we spend a great deal of our lives in shadow...rain and gloom...but when the sun comes out, it is a day for celebration.

OLD WOUNDS:  Unfortunately, into each life there comes something or someone who will try their best to destroy all that light that lives inside of you!  I had a couple of incidents that tried to do just that this very day.

First thing this morning, I got a voicemail from a dear friend who I befriended in High School.  We have kept in touch for all of these many years.  We have shared each others heartaches, blessings, happiness and sorrows.  This morning's news was one of those heartaches for her.  A little over a year ago, she entered into a marriage that I tried to warn her would not bring her a lot of fact, it was destined for a multiplication of trials!  This morning she informed me that she had been deserted, left without her car, her money, and most of all her dignity!  How do I help this friend?  This is the question that plagues my mind and my heart.

Next, I got a call from my son who is at the peak of his career, was invited to be a performer on TedxBend (a real privilege in the "communication," "art," "music" world).  In the audience, by chance, there was one of his old High School Teachers (and I use the word "Teacher" loosely).  She gave my son a really terrible, unfair time in her class, and she had the gall (15 years later) to lean over to the man sitting next to her and tell him she knew my son in High School and he was a "troubled" boy and a "cheater."  After the show, the man came up to Billy to purchase one of his CD's and told him what the "teacher" had told him.  That old would was opened wide and my son had to go through that hurt all over again.  My son was never a troubled boy and he was not a cheater.  He is as honest as can be!  It hurts me, too, because it is a reflection on his father and I.

At this writing, I am trying not to let the bad things get in the way of the good.  Ugly things happen, and we shall deal with them on another day..,.but for today, I want to focus on the teachings of the greatest Teacher that ever lived, Jesus Christ.  His teachings are what light up my countenance.  His Gospel is what gives me purpose!  His example is what drives me to be a better person each and every day.  In the end, I am striving to be more Christlike and I know He leads the way.

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Growing Old; Growing Tired; Growing...

I cannot remember a time filled with more stress and strife than the past two months has thrown our way.  Nothing can compare with it.  Our stressful move is behind us, but the space we now live in is not sufficient for all of our belongings.  Much of what we own or have owned has either been given away, sold, donated or taken to the dump.

It makes one wonder why we hold on to so many things in the first place.  We think we need them, if mot now, then in some future (non-existent) time, but in the end, did we really?  The one major possession we parted with was our beautiful baby grand piano.  It was a heartache to watch them pack it up and wheel it out the door and onto the truck that would take it to its new home.  That piano was a birthday gift to me 14 years ago when we lived in Crooked River Ranch.  I loved that piano.  But, truth be known, my husband loved it more and it was truly his piano.  I saw the pain in his eyes as he sat down on the bench to play it for the very last time.

The second item I had to "let go" of was the dining-room table and chairs that I bought seven years ago when we lived on Jetty Avenue in Lincoln City.  I loved that table.  We donated it to the Deseret Industries when their pod was parked in our Church parking lot.  Quite convenient, I would say.

The third item was my beloved corner hutch that Dean bought me when we lived in Brooking.  I had it for 10 or 11 years.   Our sweet next-door neighbor bought it and it has a lovely place in her home.  She beamed when she showed me all of her treasures that she had displayed inside.

Last, was my Queen-size bed that I bought in St. George when I was single.  You can't sell or give away beds in this area, so we loaded it up on a truck and a friend drove it to the dump.  Part of me disappeared during this move, and now I am left with memories.

My office is filled with notebooks that I have filled with my attempts at writing; a box in storage is filled with my journals that have covered a span of 55 plus years of my life.  I started keeping a journal when I was in my 20's in Salt Lake City.  I keep telling myself that I will take upon myself the monumental task of abridging them one day, just as Mormon did when he abridged the records of the Nephite's which spanned a period of over 1000 years.  I thin my task is not quite as daunting.

I dislike the idea of leaving that task to my children, but, alas, I am growing old and I am growing tired.  If the Lord is testing me in the hope that I still have some "growing" to do, I hope I am able to complete it and that the test will be a short one.

Forgive my rambling, I just have much on my mind and I can't seem to come up with a plan to get over this mountain of "stuff".  I just can't bring myself to get rid of it.  It's funny...the decision to get rid of the big stuff was far easier...the little stuff is by far the hardest.  Perhaps one day, I will box up all the lovely gifts each of my children have given me over the years and save them for the time when they might want them remember me by.

It's interesting how we save parts of past generations.  I have my great-great grandfather's life history, but nothing more; I had some of my grandmother's things, but have distributed them to some of the kids; and I have some of my mother's things that I doubt any of the kids will be interested in.  Most of what I have accumulated has no real value to anyone but me.  Life in this 21st Century has changed a lot of our values,.

I guess the bottom line is that I treasure my family and my faith in my Savior far above material possessions and those values have been passed on.

Thank you for persevering and reading this mixed up writing.  I will be glad when the things that clutter the floor in my office will find a home and I can get down to some serious writing.

                                                   Welcome home!

Sunday, March 19, 2017

Sometimes Life Keeps Piling It On...

Do you ever have those days when if they put just one more bale of hay on my truck, I'm just going to tip over and die?  Well, it seem like my life is  truckin' down that road lately and I'm not sure what the outcome is going to be.

All of my life, I have trusted in the Lord, that if He "brought me to it, He will get me through it."  I have given this load completely to him...well, at least I thought I had until yesterday afternoon.

Let me catch you up to speed...Here's my (our) story.  Two yeas ago, Dean got pulled over and cited for the ridiculous charge of "DUII and Reckless Driving."  We thought it was never going to come to a hearing, because the limit to "file" such a charge in Oregon is 2 years.  I guess the Officer just wasn't going to let this one slide, and with a clean breath alcohol test and no illegal drugs in his urine test and a dash-cam that shows nothing more than him passing a car a bit too fast, at the most, he should have been cited for speeding...nothing more.  It is a shame that this is being pursued.  Dean goes to court tomorrow and his Attorney has asked the DA to drop the reckless driving and DUII charges and move on.  We shall see how the Judicial System works in Oregon!  Dean's greatest fear is that the Oregon State Board of Licensing (Pharmacy) will remove his license and he will be without a job!  Prayers needed!

Item number two:  Nearly 2 months ago, Dean tore the Rotater Cuff in his right shoulder and separated his bicep from the shoulder, as well.  He desperately needs surgery.  It is scheduled for May 16th.  Hr will then face 6 weeks of rehab before he can return to work...if he has a job to return to.  Prayers are needed here, too.

And, here's the kicker!  Yesterday we received, by mail, a notice to "vacate the premises' by April 30.  We are being kicked out of our rental...for what reason, they didn't say.  Apparently in Oregon, they don't have to!  So, with a court date coming up tomorrow, a shoulder surgery coming up in May, and finding a rental and packing up and moving by April 30, we are tearing our hair out!  BIG prayers needed!

Can someone please explain to me why bad things come in "three's" and happen to "nice people?"  I'm trying to keep a smile on my face and a positive attitude, but I am finding it really, really hard to do!  I have been tested big time before, and I should be stronger than this, but I'm not 29 anymore.  I'm not even 59 or 69 anymore!  Oh, Lord give me strength!

Sunday, January 29, 2017

The Winter of My Life...

I woke up this morning with the realization that I am no longer approaching "The Winter of My Life,"  I am in the thick of it!  I am in the middle of a full blown blizzard!

Why do I say this, you ask?  Well, here are just a few examples.  My hair is now snow white, but I disguise it; I lost my teeth a long time ago, but thanks to the miracle of the Dental world I can hide that fact; I can barely see to read anymore, but thanks to the technology of magnification, I read...just slower; and if you want me to hear you, you better not mumble or whisper!  Then, there is the matter of the numerous joints in my body that creak and crackle when I wake up in the morning...allowing me only minimum movement when I try to stand.  The knees want to buckle and my back doesn't want me to stand up straight and my feet?  Well, they are a totally different issue altogether.  They hurt!

I knew I would get here "some day," but for me that "some day" came far, far too soon.  There are so many more mountains I want to climb, so many more words I want to write, so many, many more books I want to read, so many more grandchildren and great grandchildren I want to hug and play games with.

I look at the picture above and it is everything I used to love about winter.  There is serenity there.  There is a communion with nature and God there.  Isn't that what I am supposed to be experiencing in the winter of my life?  Oh, I do have moments of serenity...when I am completely alone and I visit my quiet world of reminiscing and those feelings of love I hold so close in my heart for my parents, my siblings, my children and grandchildren and great grandchildren, my husband(s) and also my friends.  But those moments are fleeting and far between.

My communion with God comes in spurts of feeling the spirit commune with me throughout the day and in those quiet moments, there is peace.  "Forgive me, Father, for my transgressions this day,;"or "Thank you, Father, for those billions of blessings that come to me every nano-second of each and every day;" or "help me, Father, to be a better person tomorrow than I was today."

Someday I would like to find this lonely bench in the middle of a snowstorm and contemplate all of these things.  Yes, I am in the winter of my life...I have learned much, I have experienced much, and I hope I have much to give.  If you are where I am, God Bless are enduring!  If you are approaching this season, God bless are accumulating knowledge and experience.  If you think you still have a very long way to go, God bless will need to gather strength, because it will come upon you a whole lot sooner than you will ever be ready for it.

My thoughts for this day!


Each night I try to reflect upon the busy-ness of the day.  This night has been most difficult, because so many images and impressions and "stuff" are cluttering my mind.  The last two days have been particularly trying for me.  Call it old age, call it frustration, call it whatever you want to call it, but I think I am losing my brain power...literally!  The only thing I can focus on is writing...and sometimes I find that hard, because words have to be chosen so carefully, and the ones that fly out of my brain onto the paper (or computer) weren't the ones I was thinking at all.

Yesterday, we had planned a perfect day of finally getting the Christmas stuff put away.  I know, I is January 27th, right?  Well, I'm slow...what can I say?  Anyway, I was organizing the Christmas corner in the garage, and Dean comes out and wants to put the outdoor chest that was supposed to be water proof, got full of water in the rain, dumped over, fell apart, etc., etc., etc.  Anyway it ended up in the garage and I moved a lot of things to make room for it next to the door that goes out to the backyard.

When Dean came out to the garage, he found a terrible flood of water all over the floor.  He proceeded to yell, "Get some rags or a mop or something.  We've got a mess out here!"  As it turns out the water was coming from the lid of the chest.  So, we drag it outside to tip it every which way and try to put it all back together.  That done, we dragged it back into the garage, where we left it all night.

What a mess...both of the garage and of our nerves.  I'm finding that I lose my temper more and more lately...and I cry because I am so inept.  It was a terrible day.  We had a 6:00 dinner appointment in Lincoln City, and by the time we finished everything, it was 5 pm,,,no time to make the 40 minute drive to meet friends, so we called the whole thing off.  Just one more thread that unraveled in my brain.

Today brought the promise of a better day.  More time spent in the garage...more water to clean up and more stupid words that brought misunderstanding changed all that!  Some days I just want to go back to bed with the covers over my head and put a "Do Not Disturb" sign on my back.

Looking back, there are a couple of things I learned from these two days.  One, communication will always be clearer if we just break down and have a conversation with the one we don't understand; and two, I CANNOT WORK WITH MY HUSBAND!

I shall tuck it all in bed for the night and try to get some shut-eye and dream of riding high in the sky in a beautifully colored balloon without a care in the world.  After all, tomorrow is another day


Monday, January 23, 2017

Do You See What I See? Do You Hear What I Hear?

We have just concluded an event in history that has men (and women) at odds with each other!  It was the Democratic Process to nominate, elect and swear into office this country's 45th President.  For the first time in my lifetime I was witness (both personally and as a viewer on TV) to the most controversial election process in the history, as I know it!  Perhaps there were other elections where there was so much hatred expressed, but I just didn't notice it -- until this go around.

The thought came into my head almost simultaneously with one Newscaster (forgot to make note of his name) that what we have just witnessed throughout this entire process was a "Political Rorschach Test!"  This thought brought much clarity into my mind regarding all of the arguing and Political viewpoints of the Press and others...and it is true!

For those of you who are not familiar with the age-old Psychological Test known as the Rorschach Test, let me fill you in on what I know.  From my online searching and The Wikipedia, I found this definition:

"The Rorschach test is a psychological test in which subjects' perceptions of inkblots are recorded and then analyzed using psychological interpretation, complex algorithms, or both. Some psychologists use this test to examine a person's personality characteristics and emotional functioning. It has been employed to detect underlying thought disorder, especially in cases where patients are reluctant to describe their thinking processes openly. The test is named after its creator, Swiss psychologist Hermann Rorschach. In the 1960s, the Rorschach was the most widely used projective test."

Here's a really good example of what the "see-er" of this particular pattern might see.  What are your first impressions?  For me, when I first saw the ink blot, I saw a Butterfly.  But, when I looked at it a second tine, I saw something altogether different.  Here's another:

Again, what do you see?  Your interpretation might be completely different than mine.  And here is where the Psychologists and I disagree.  I don't think you or I have a personality "disorder" just because we see different things...merely different experiences in our lives that lead us to see things differently.

President Dieter Uchtdorf, Second Counselor in the Presidency of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, said this in a recent talk at the Women's General Conference:

",...there are more ways to see than with our eyes, more ways to feel than with our hands and more ways to hear than with our ears.
"...just because we can't hear something doesn't mean there is nothing to hear.  Two people can listen to the same message or read the same scripture, and one might feel the witness of the Spirit while the other doesn't."

His advice to us is to "...listen differently..."

From Saint-Exupery's Little Prince, we are told, "One sees clearly only with the heart.  Anything essential is invisible to the eyes,."

Now, let us look at another test.  I cannot put into this Blog any audio or musical entries, but based on your experience, what do you "hear" when you go to a Classical Concert?  A Rock Concert?  Or a Concert of your favorite Artist?  We both will hear each differently.  I happen to love Classical music, so I can close my eyes and be lost in the beauty of the music.  I listen with my heart!  My mother, on the other hand could not stand that "long-hair" music, so she would always ask me to turn it off!  The same is true of all of the genres of music.

This test explains to me why there are so many different interpretations of the exact same speech!  Those who are looking for the worst will find it.  Those who are looking to be validated in their choice will find it.

What is the point of all of this?  I guess it is to try and persuade others to stop quibbling about what is and realize that there will always be more than one interpretation of what we see or what we hear.  The majority of the states chose our new President.  It is over!  It is time for all men to come together and move on so we can help heal this country.  And I am sure there are some out there who will disagree with me.  This is not an argument, simply an observation.  You see what you want to see, and you hear what you want to hear.  Just remember, when you listen or see with your heart, the outcome might be quite unexpectedly different.