Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Do you ever feel like life is far different than you expected?  I know that there have been times that it didn't seem to be what I thought it would be.  As I look at this picture from my high school graduation trip I realize that so often things don't appear to be what they look like (thankfully for me in this picture).  In this picture I look like I'm extremely short.  I'll admit I'm short, but not that short.  I stand at a lofty 5' 1".  When I knelt down like my friend the wood choked me, so I was forced to stand.  I know it looks ridiculous, but it's not what it appears!  I'll be the first to admit that life sometimes is not what it appears.  I do, however, know that life is always what Heavenly Father wants it to be for us.  Sometimes it's hard and sometimes it's easy, but it's always right.  Heavenly Father knows exactly what we need.  He'll never give us something that he shouldn't.  We'll always be better for the times that don't seem to be what we expected.  Sometimes when we look back the times make sense and we see why we needed them, but at the time our perspective is far different.  When we're in the heat of the moment it's hard to see the whole picture and not just the pixel that's taking place right then.  The next time you're having a hard day think about perspective and know that it's all in Heavenly Father's hands!  HE LOVES YOU!!!!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Something from... well T-shirts

 This t-shirt doesn't seem to have a whole ton of appeal, just a simple t-shirt.  It doesn't feel like anything special.  Do you ever feel that way?  Some days we seem to wake up and feel like we're just a yellow-striped t-shirt, but on those days we need to remember that we are children of our loving Heavenly Father.  We have infinate potential.  We can be transformed from a plain old t-shirt into something else. 
This shirt can go from just an old t-shirt to a fancy scarf.  Does it take some work?  Yes!  Does it take some pain?  Yes!  Is it an easy process?  No, there's multiple steps and you have to use your brain! Does it hurt?  Possibly, you have to cut the t-shirt into strips and then pull on it so that it curls in, then you have to be creative and tie some into braids and make them different lengths and make it look just how you want.  Then last of all you have to tie, trim, and wrap it so it stays together how you want it to.  
We all know I don't write a blog to explain how to make crafts, but as I contemplated the steps to making something it occurred to me that as we allow the Lord to create with us what he wants we will turn out to be something miraculous and wonderful (far better than any scarf will ever be).  It may not be easy to follow our Heavenly Father's counsel, but I know that as we do he will bless us and turn us into something beautiful.  We are not here just to go through life, but to learn, grow and be molded into the person our Heavenly Father knows we can be.  So when times get hard and we wake up and feel like an ugly old t-shirt just remember that with Heavenly Father leading the design we can become a fancy scarf.  We can go from practically nothing to something!  I know that Heavenly Father loves us and is aware of each and every one of us.  He allows things to come our way to shape us and make us.  He hasn't forgotten you and HE NEVER WILL!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Christ and Santa... Why can't we be friends?!?

I got a letter from a friend the other day and she shared this story with me.  I loved it so much that I decided you all needed to hear it.  I think we mistake Santa for something bad, when he is really trying to bring a spirit of Christ into the season.

She writes:
I remember my first Christmas adventure with Grandma.  
I was just a kid.  
I remember tearing across town on my bike to visit her on the day my big sister dropped the bomb: "There is no Santa Calus," she jeered.  "Even dummies know that."
My Grandma was not the gushy kind, never had been.  I fled to her that day because I knew she would be straight with me.  I knew Grandma always told the truth, and I knew that the truth always went down a whole lot easier when swallowed with one of her "world-famous" cinnamon buns.  I knew they were world-famous, because Grandma said so.  It had to be true.

Grandma was home, and the buns were still warm.  Between bites I told her everything.  She was ready for me.  "No Santa Claus?" she snorted.... "Ridiculous!  Don't believe it.  That rumor has been going around for years, and it makes me mad, plain mad!!  Now, put on you coat, and let's go."

"Go?  Go where, Grandma?"  I asked.  I hadn't even finished my second world-famous cinnamon bun.  "Where" turned out to be Kerby's General Store, the one store in town that had a little bit of just about everything.  As we walked through it's doors Grandma handed me ten dollars.  That was a bundle in those days.  "Take this money," she said, "and buy something for someone who needs it.  I'll wait for you in the car."  Then she turned and walked out of Kerby's.

I was only eight years old.  I'd often gone shopping with my mother, but never had I shopped for anything all by myself.  The store seemed big and crowded, full of people scrambling to finish their Christmas shopping.

For a few moments I just stood there, confused, clutching that ten-dollar bill, wondering what to buy, and who on earth to buy it for.

I was just about thought out, when I suddenly thought of Bobby.  He was a kid with bad breath and messy hair, and he sat right behind me in class.  Bobby didn't have a coat.  I knew that because he never went out to recess during the winter.  His mother always wrote a note, telling the teacher that he had a cough, but all the kids knew that Bobby didn't have a cough; he didn't have a good coat.  I fingered the ten-dollar bill with growing excitement.  I would buy Bobby a coat.  I settled on a red corduroy one that had a hood on it.  It looked really warm, and he would like it.  "Is this a Christmas present for someone?"  the lady behind the counter asked kindly as I laid my ten dollars down.  "Yes, ma'am,"  I replied shyly.  "It's for Bobby."

The nice lady smiled at me as I told her about how Bobby really needed a good winter coat.  I didn't get any change, but she put the coat in a bag, smiled again, and wished me a Merry Christmas.

That evening Grandma helped me wrap the coat (a little tag fell out of the coat and Grandma tucked it in her Bible) in Christmas paper and ribbons and wrote, "To Bobby, From Santa Claus" on it.  Grandma said that Santa always insisted on secrecy.  Then she drove me over to Bobby's house, explaining as we went that I was now and forever officially one of Santa's helpers.  Grandma parked down the street from Bobby's house and she and I crept noiselessly and hid in the bushes by his front walk.  Then Grandma gave me a nudge.  "All right, Santa Claus,"  she whispered, "get going."

I took a deep breath, dashed for the front door, threw the present down on his step, pounded his door and flew back to the safety of the bushes and Grandma.

Together we waited breathlessly in the darkness for the front door to open.  Finally it did, and there stood Bobby.

Fifty years haven't dimmed the thrill of those moments spent shivering beside my Grandma, in Bobby's bushes.  That night I realized that those awful rumors about Santa Claus were just what Grandma said they were-- ridiculous!  Santa was alive and well, and we were on his team.

I still have the Bible, with the coat tag tucked inside:  $19.95.

I see that Santa truly is here to help us think of the Savior, and that is so often misunderstood.  We think of Santa and think of the many presents we hope he brings.  That's not what he truly represents.  As I think of Santa I think of his service and giving.  He works hard all year to be able to bring presents to everyone and make them happy.  He is there to remind us that giving is fun and that we should try to make others happy.  Santa truly should lead us back to Christ.

Merry Christmas!  May we all remember that Christ is the Reason!

Friday, December 2, 2011

Rattlesnake! Beware!

My companion, Sister Green, told me this story a few days ago.  I really like it, so decided to share it with you.
A little boy was walking down a path and he came across a rattlesnake. The rattlesnake was getting old. He asked, "Please little boy, can you take me to the top of the mountain? I hope to see the sunset one last time before I die." The little boy answered "No Mr. Rattlesnake. If I pick you up, you'll bite me and I'll die." The rattlesnake said, "No, I promise. I won't bite you. Just please take me up to the mountain." The little boy thought about it and finally picked up that rattlesnake and took it close to his chest and carried it up to the top of the mountain.

They sat there and watched the sunset together. It was so beautiful. Then after sunset the rattlesnake turned to the little boy and asked, "Can I go home now? I am tired, and I am old." The little boy picked up the rattlesnake and again took it to his chest and held it tightly and safely. He came all the way down the mountain holding the snake carefully and took it to his home to give him some food and a place to sleep. The next day the rattlesnake turned to the boy and asked, "Please little boy, will you take me back to my home now? It is time for me to leave this world, and I would like to be at my home now." The little boy felt he had been safe all this time and the snake had kept his word, so he would take it home as asked.

He carefully picked up the snake, took it close to his chest, and carried him back to the woods, to his home to die. Just before he laid the rattlesnake down, the rattlesnake turned and bit him in the chest. The little boy cried out and threw the snake upon the ground. "Mr. Snake, why did you do that? Now I will surely die!" The rattlesnake looked up at him and grinned, "You knew what I was when you picked me up."

As I thought about this story it reminded me of a past blog I had written, The Edge.  So often we allow ourselves to do something dangerous once and it turns out ok.  Then the next time we are put in that same dangerous position we think it won't be dangerous, so we go for it.  We do know what's right and what's wrong in life.  We each have the light of Christ to guide us!  We know if a situation will put us somewhere we don't want to be, or if it's a perfectly safe situation.  Why would we continue to put ourselves in risky situations?  We may be ok a few times, but eventually the "rattlesnake" will come out and we won't be safe.  Watch what you're doing!  Be safe!  We know the commandments help us to be happy and safe!  Don't push it!