Sunday, April 20, 2014

The Greatest of Them All~ Happy Easter

As Easter comes to a close tonight, let us all remember Him every day!  This beautiful music is a new favorite for me.  Music is what feelings sound like!



Life is good!  Embrace it!

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Because Of Him


He is Risen!

May the Life of Our Savior be an constant blessing in all of our lives.  May we testify of Him in word and deed to those around us.  May the light of His love shine in us all of our days.  Because of His Atonement, one day all will come forth from their graves and live with Him again. May the Strait and Narrow Path alway be familiar to us.  May His image be seen in our countenances as our testimony that He Lives.  May you feel the joy of this good news like never before today! May you feel His special love for you everyday.  Happy Easter!


http://easter.mormon.org/?CID=ajl-71000150

Watch this beautiful Video! It is about the Savior of mankind!

Sunday, April 13, 2014

I Stand All Amazed

Google Image

The week of Our Easter celebration and commemoration is upon us.  The glorious event pictured above is the culmination of this week.  The joy of the open tomb of our resurrected Lord and Redeemer. The events leading up to it were not so pleasant.

I have written a lot of Easter posts in the past few years and have given talks about Easter on Easter in church more than once or twice.  But for a couple of years I had been trying to remember where I had seen the Easter passages that really touched my heart several years ago.  It was in one of our church books somewhere.  I am excited that I have found it again and I love this so much.  This is a talk given by Jeffery R. Holland when he was the President of Brigham Young University in 1985.  I found a portion of it in his book entitled On Earth As It Is On Heaven.  It was published in 1989 By Deseret Books.

The book included a portion of the talk in this anthology.  The Chapter heading is I Stand All Amazed.  Hmm, being the researcher in training these days I thought maybe...just maybe there is a talk online by Elder Holland with the same title.  Bingo.  I found it on Google is a nano second.

So I have given you a portion of his words where he is quoting a former Apostle, Elder Melvin J Ballard later on in the text.

Elder Holland...



“There was a certain householder, which planted a vineyard, and hedged it round about, and digged a winepress in it, and built a tower, and let it out to husbandmen, and went into a far country:
“And when the time of the fruit drew near, he sent his servants to the husbandmen, that they might receive the fruits of it.
“And the husbandmen took his servants, and beat one, and killed another, and stoned another.
“Again, he sent other servants more than the first: and they did unto them likewise.
“But last of all he sent unto them his son, saying, They will reverence my son.
“But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir; come, let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance.
“And they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him.” (Matt. 21:33–39.)

That is the moment at which we find ourselves on the summit of Golgotha. It is not a pleasant story. Through patience that seems inordinately generous, the Father and the Son have waited and watched and worked in this vineyard for mercy to run down as waters, and righteousness as a mighty stream. But they have not run. Not only have the prophets and faithful few been killed, but now so is to be the son of the Lord of the vineyard. A terrible, incalculable price is to be paid, and it wounds the human heart to tell it.
In the midst of the swearing and the spit, the thorns and the threats, the ridicule and the rending of his garments; added to the crushing weight of his own body straining for support on the very nails that have been driven into his hands and into his feet; with friends in retreat and foes as far as the eye could see, the worst possible scene in this divine drama unfolds.
Perhaps the briefest glimpse is given of the terrible emotions and forces at work here when we read lines intentionally preserved for us in the original Aramaic: “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani? that is to say, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Matt. 27:46.)
There is one thing and one thing alone this Only Begotten Son has been sure of: the love and companionship and unwavering support of his father. Consider these lines taken almost at random from the Gospel of John. They are suggestive of a theme that runs throughout that book.
“The Son can do nothing of himself, but what he seeth the Father do: … The Father loveth the Son, and sheweth him all things that himself doeth.” (John 5:19–20.)
“I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.” (John 6:38.)
“I am not come of myself, but he that sent me is true, whom ye know not. But I know him.” (John 7:28–29.)
“The Father that sent me beareth witness of me. … If ye had known me, ye should have known my Father also.” (John 8:18–19.)
“I and my Father are one.” (John 10:30.)
“He gave me a commandment, what I should say, and what I should speak.” (John 12:49.)
“Behold, the hour cometh, yea, is now come, that ye shall be scattered, every man to his own, and shall leave me alone: and yet I am not alone, because the Father is with me.” (John 16:32.)
And then this assertion, perhaps the most painful of all: “I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me. … He that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.” (John 8:16, 29.)
That one constant thread of doctrine and belief, the one certainty he had in spite of what might happen among mortal friend and foe: “[My] Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things which please him.”
And now, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani?” “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”
May I share this from Elder Melvin J. Ballard, written many years ago:
“I ask you, what father and mother could stand by and listen to the cry of their children in distress … and not render assistance? I have heard of mothers throwing themselves into raging streams when they could not swim a stroke to save their drowning children, [I have heard of fathers] rushing into burning buildings to rescue those whom they loved.
“We cannot stand by and listen to those cries without its touching our hearts. … He had the power to save, and He loved His Son, and He could have saved Him. He might have rescued Him from the insult of the crowds. He might have rescued Him when the crown of thorns was placed upon His head. He might have rescued Him when the Son, hanging between two thieves, was mocked with, ‘Save thyself, and come down from the cross. He saved others; himself he cannot save.’ He listened to all this. He saw that Son condemned; He saw Him drag the cross through the streets of Jerusalem and faint under its load. He saw the Son finally upon Calvary; he saw His body stretched out upon the wooden cross; he saw the cruel nails driven through hands and feet, and the blows that broke the skin, tore the flesh, and let out the life’s blood of His [Only Begotten] Son. …
“[He] looked on [all that] with great grief and agony over His Beloved [Child], until there seems to have come a moment when even our Saviour cried out in despair: ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.
“In that hour I think I can see our dear Father behind the veil looking upon these dying struggles, … His great heart almost breaking for the love that He had for His Son. Oh, in that moment when He might have saved His Son, I thank Him and praise Him that He did not fail us. … I rejoice that He did not interfere, and that His love for us made it possible for Him to endure to look upon the sufferings of His [Only Begotten] and give Him finally to us, our Saviour and our Redeemer. Without Him, without His sacrifice, we would have remained, and we would never have come glorified into His presence. … This is what it cost, in part, for our Father in heaven to give the gift of His Son unto men.
“He, … our God, is a jealous God—jealous lest we should [ever] ignore and forget and slight His greatest gift unto us”—the life of his Firstborn Son. (Melvin J. Ballard, Crusader for Righteousness,Salt Lake City: Bookcraft, 1966, pp. 136–38.)"

Elder Holland continues...
So how do we make sure that we never “ignore or slight or forget” his greatest of all gifts unto us?
We do so by showing our desire for a remission of our sins and our eternal gratitude for that most courageous of all prayers, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.” (Luke 23:34.) We do so by joining in the work of forgiving sins, which is so clearly demonstrated hour after hour, day after day, in temple work, from the baptismal font on the back of those twelve oxen deep inside the House of the Lord clear to the veil of the temple, the celestial room, and the Holy of Holies beyond it.
“‘Bear ye one another’s burdens, and so fulfill the law of Christ,’ [Paul commands us]. (Gal. 6:2) … The law of Christ, which it is our duty to fulfill, is the bearing of the cross. My brother’s burden which I must bear is not only his outward lot [and circumstance], … but quite literally his sin. And the only way to bear that sin is by forgiving it in the power of the cross of Christ in which [we] now share. Thus the call to follow Christ always means a call to share [in] the work of forgiving men their sins. Forgiveness is the Christlike suffering which it is the Christian’s duty to bear.” (Dietrich Bonhoeffer, The Cost of Discipleship, 2d ed., New York: Macmillan, 1959, p. 100.)
Surely the reason Christ said “Father, forgive them” was because even in the weakened and terribly trying hour he faced, he knew that this was the message he had come through all eternity to deliver. 
All of the meaning and all of the majesty of all those dispensations—indeed the entire plan of salvation—would have been lost had he forgotten that not in spite of injustice and brutality and unkindness and disobedience but precisely because of them had he come to extend forgiveness to the family of man.
Anyone can be pleasant and patient and forgiving on a good day. A Christian has to be pleasant and patient and forgiving on all days. It is the quintessential moment of his ministry, and as perfect in its example as it was difficult to endure.
Is there someone in your life who perhaps needs forgiveness? Is there someone in your home, someone in your family, someone in your neighborhood who has done an unjust or an unkind or an unchristian thing? All of us are guilty of such transgressions, so there surely must be someone who yet needs your forgiveness.
And please don’t ask if that’s fair—that the injured should have to bear the burden of forgiveness for the offender. Don’t ask if “justice” doesn’t demand that it be the other way around. No, whatever you do, don’t ask for justice. You and I know that what we plead for is mercy—and that is what we must be willing to give."



I find this to be extremely beautiful and poetic and true.  I especially love the portion where he is quoting Elder Ballard.  We often think of the magnitude of our Savior's sacrifice which is incomprehensible to us.  
But until I read this passage I never pondered deeply about the unfathomable anguish of Our Heavenly Father as He watched His Only Begotten Son experience this horrific death one hideous abuse after another, knowing that he could have stopped it.  But He, Our Heavenly Father, suffered it for us. Having a son of your own adds yet another dimension of appreciation for His gift.  Our Heavenly Father did this because He loves us...that much.  Imagine it!  It was for you and for me individually and all of us.  Not as a group but for each one.  
There are not words sufficient to express the gratitude we should feel for both The Father and The Son not just in this Holy Week but all the time.  Because of that pivotal and universal sacrifice the opportunity for everything that is important in this life and the next can be ours.  This should give us great cause alone to have A Very Happy Easter!



A Simple Woman's Daybook~April 13, 2014

Our lives pass swiftly by! I want to do something to remember
the everyday moments and my thoughts about them.  
That is what this Daybook is all about.
Focusing on the little things that become my life.
One entry at a time.

Just for today~Sunday, April 13, 2014 
Outside my window...Everything is perfect.  The trees are just so pretty with the new growth in that lighter green shade, the ivy has gotten such a boost from recent rains and spring has sprung.  My pink hydrangea is blooming out into this magnificent sight and I feel happy.  The breeze is rustling the American Flag and birds are flitting about singing their praises to the Lord for this beautiful day.

I am thankful for.... Jim recovering a little more each day from his hip replacement surgery of 16 days ago.  I am thankful for the things like this that teach us about ourselves and others.  The compassion we gain when we walk in the shoes of others that have gone through much worse and we barely noticed in our busyness.  These kinds of things open our eyes in good ways.  They teach us to pay more attention, to minister more to the one. To remember that there is a difference between being religious and doing our duties and doing what Christ himself would do.  As I drove up the street this morning on my way home from church I was thinking of my neighbor who had recently had a knee surgery and has had difficulty in his recovery.  I felt remorseful that I hadn't done anything for him at all.  Just then he came out of his house.  I stopped the car and went running over to him.  I apologized for my thoughtlessness and gave him a giant hug.

From the learning room....We cannot get complacent and think that everyone is just fine.  We have to be guided by the spirit to know what is behind their eyes and their smile when we ask them, "How are you doing?" And get that response so commonly heard, "Fine!"  It's not necessary true.  I think too often we take that as a signal that we are off the hook, they don't need any help.  After spending two plus weeks in the house day and night I have a new appreciation for those that are shut-in because of illness and other circumstances and I want to reach out more.  Just a visit or a phone call of a little note can be so cheering.

I am reading...about Wales, the home of my great-grandparents on my mom's side.  I had a major breakthrough and discovered some very wonderful things about them.  I know quite a bit about my these ancestors now where before I only had my great grandfather's name.   Now I know where they were each born and about their siblings and parents.  This has brought a lot of joy to my heart and also opened up all kinds of possibilities to do research in Wales.  I learned a little bit about the Welsh language.  Holy Smokes...very difficult indeed.  It took me two days to translate his obituary but what a wealth of information was gleaned. I am thankful for how it all happened.

From the kitchen...Getting back into the swing of it after a couple weeks of pretty bland things.  He knew what was best for him and that is what we did. We made tacos last night and that was a pleasant step away from soup, yogurt, cottage cheese, etc.

Some spiritual thoughts I have been having...I have been thinking about how much I love the hymns of the church as I have gotten older.  They are so poetic and teach so much and bring comfort and peace as well.  Spiritual music has so much power to uplift and bring us joy.  Music has the capacity to touch us in its own special way like nothing else.

I am hearing...Quiet music and a silence that is only heard around here when my patient is sleeping comfortably and getting well.  I love Sundays and how they just give us a fresh start on the week and a chance to do better.

One of my pleasures...The flowers of spring, the way the earth just looks new at this time of year.  Especially after a spring shower when the sun comes out and everything looks sparkling clean.  I adore the lush green of all the hills that surround our home.  The air is fresh and the coolness of the temperature is something I appreciate before it turns into the hotness of summer.  I also love that the days are getting longer.  I realize more than I ever knew how important my visual surroundings seem to be for my ultimate well-being.

Pet Peeves...Connectivity issues with the service you use when you really need your computer.  I am getting ready to teach two classes this coming week and this is no time to have a new service that cannot get it right.  They are coming out here again tomorrow for the tenth time in a month.


I am quoting...Pinterest. 




If I could change one thing it would be...That Jim could just be well again soon.  And not just him but the many others who are struggling now with illnesses and other difficult challenges.  I think he had completely set himself up to succeed in not rushing it, but what he did not realize was that he would not be able to find a comfortable position so that he could at least do quiet work on the computer, watch a movie, etc.  What I would change is that he would just not have the pain constantly.  It has been too long now, since he was in pain for a year before the surgery even occurred,  and with other arthritis issues long before that.  But he is just so gritty and couageous.  He just handles it so well and keeps going.  I have a  lot of respect for that.

An enjoyable movie/ TV show we have watched lately...We have started watching Sherlock.  Jim likes it a lot.  I find it interesting but a little too dark for my taste.  Anything (within reason) that he likes right now is fine by me.  Day by day he is better.  Yay!

I am curious about...whether we will be able to go to a family reunion in Washington state by the end of May?  We are sure hoping so.

Plans for the rest of the week...Today I am going to listen again to a few of the conference talks from last week's Semi-Annual General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints found at http://lds.org.  Tomorrow we are going to his first post operative visit and staples will come out, etc.  I'm hoping to go out in the morning to see some of my friends before the appointment around noon.  I find I can be gone for short periods when he is resting now.  The rest of the week will just be more recovery time.  I am teaching next Saturday morning if all goes well.  And hopefully next Sunday, Easter...we can go to Jim's mom's for dinner.  He is still weeks out from being able to go to church it seems now. But he may surprise us on that if he can sit more comfortably.
  
One of my favorite things...Jim's best friend, Dave.  He has been a wonderful support along with Lee to both of us but especially to his buddy.  

One thing that made me so happy this past week..my cousin Bob and his wife, Beth came here from Davis and brought a picnic dinner for us all to share in the backyard.  It was so delightful and so thoughtful of them.  We had a great time and it was so pretty outside.  It felt like visions of day ahead when we can eat outside a lot and enjoy time with family and friends.

The most surprising thing this past week...how much we have been missing our friends at work.   Carol and everyone from the Tuesday shifts at the Center, including our regular patrons.  They are truly a delightful group of people.  And I have to add another...Finding success in working on Welsh translation.  That was really a shock as much as a surprise.

Some photos I am sharing this week...



Antelope Valley in Southern CA
The Poppy fields!
This is definitely on our 2015 Bucket List


This is a little corner of our backyard
The other afternoon when 
Bob and Beth came to visit us.
Just before dusk when the sun 
comes through the trees at a perfect angle.


UNTIL THE NEXT DAYBOOK,
 BE HAPPY AND CARRY ON!

❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s, Bon

Friday, April 4, 2014

Our Lame Turkey


I find it just very odd that last Saturday when I brought Jim home from the hospital we saw this one lone turkey in our backyard. David helped me bring Jim in the house and I went ahead to forge the way and open a back door for him to avoid stairs. When I went out to greet them halfway, there in the yard was this big Tom.  I found it odd to see just one because an entire flock of them live with us. They usually will scoot away pretty fast when they see humans.  This one just stood there.  As Dave and Jim and I got closer the turkey hopped lamely away with one leg bent backwards like a stork.  Humm, that was peculiar under the circumstances I thought to myself.

Since then the turkey has stood vigilantly by the house on all sides day after day as if watching over Jim. Very odd indeed.  Now I know I could write a quite funny blog post about this but I'll just refrain for the sake of my beloved ortho patient who does not always find me funny.  But just think about what a golden opportunity I am passing up for love.

I was happy that Tom stood still for some photos.  Now if only Jim would. Remember how President Hinckley use to carry his cane in his left hand instead of using it.  Apply that to Jim and his walker and you get the picture I've been  trying to snap.  At least he hasn't waved to the congregation with it like President Hinckley did.  But then he hasn't been out much lately.  By the Grace of God Jim will recover but I am not so sure about our pet turkey.  Poor tough old bird.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

I Admit It~I Am A Wimp!


See these pretty little (wimpy) pansies? 
They are beautiful in their own delicate and fragile way.
I wonder if the Lord sometimes sees us in this way.
Just like a gardener nurtures and feeds and 
waters them to keep them alive and thriving ~
He does the same for us.

In our life we have been incredibly blessed in every way.  We know what makes us happy and try to live that plan, doing what we can with the choices we make.  Most days contain a lot of wonder and joy and plenty of great things.  We credit that to God's Plan of Happiness and we thrive on it.

This does not in any way negate that I know full well that adversity is on the horizon,  if I am not in the thick of it at any given moment.  I understand why we must have adversity and that it gives us strength and refinement.  It also makes us humble, a very necessary component to our spiritual growth and development.  It is a way of scraping off our prideful barnacles and that is so necessary. I know God's plan includes the exact things we need to give us the best possible chances of learning to rely fully on His grace.  Knowing this as I do, sometimes I am a wimp anyway....

When the hard times come it takes me a few days to adjust to the impact of it, to get my bearings and to step up to the plate.  The natural woman in me wants to head right into denial, push back against it and try to figure it out on my own.  When I am fumbling and bumbling around in it I get mad at myself for not being better at it.  In those moments I get upset about the situation, then I get crabby and become even more ineffective.  Being human makes us vulnerable.  That is exactly where satan wants us...at the point of feeling like giving up, losing some faith in Christ's care~that way the devil can have his way with us.

This is a pretty good rundown of what has happened inside of me the past four days.  I am so thankful Jim has had his surgery and that he is doing well.  It is nothing short of a miracle that he is healed of an infirmity that in another time and place would have put an end to his mobility and made it impossible for him to function as he loves so dearly.  Being on the go is his life line.

But in spite of knowing that, these past days I have been discouraged about the day to day of the recovery, the endless list of things I was doing all day long every day, not feeling adequate, knees hurting more than ever, and getting constant advise.   It is hard to see him in pain and suffering.  As most women tend to be, I just want to fix it and make it better and I want it yesterday.

I will say each day has gotten better as I have been more prepared to meet it.  It just takes me a few days to gather my wits and my tools, remember what I know, place my priorities in the right order and to let go of my pride that makes me want to be in control and a fixer.

This morning I woke up feeling more hopeful when I read this entry from a little book entitled Jesus Calling. I felt it was written for me to read on this exact day.  I am copying it here to share with you, in case you too may be looking for a way to deal with your own dose of adversity.

"I am calling you to a life of constant communication with Me.  
Basic training includes learning to live above your circumstances, even while interacting on that cluttered plane of life. You yearn for a simplified lifestyle, so that your communication with Me can be uninterrupted.  But I challenge you to relinquish the fantasy of an uncluttered world.  Accept each day just as it comes, and find Me in the midst of it all.

Talk with Me about every aspect of your day, including your feelings. Remember that your ultimate goal is not to control or fix everything around you; it is to keep communing with Me.  A successful day is one in which you have stayed in touch with Me, even if many things remain undone at the end of the day.  Do not let your to-do list (written or mental) become an idol directing your life. Instead ask for My Spirit to guide you moment by moment.  He will keep you close to Me.

Pray Continually ~ 1 Thessalonians 5:17
Proverbs 3:6  In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make your path straight." 

(Jesus Calling, a little non-sectarian Christian devotional book that is also available at the app store for your mobile devices.)

This reminded me that my focus needs to be on prayer and not feeling I need to do the hard things alone.  It reminded me to do the best I can with faith in Christ and the rest will fall into place.  It reminded me that there are times when I need to set my fears and frustrations aside and just be in His presence fully. It raised my consciousness out of the day-to-day and reminded me we are spiritual beings having an earthly experience.  That sometimes that earthly experience is a hard one but I need to keep focused on my target.  It helped me recognize that the work of caring for a recovering patient is not the issue...the battle was going on inside of me.

Now I feel better equipped to let it go.  To let the Lord carry me through this and to feel of His comfort in the process.  It helps me lay this burden down at His feet as He has admonished me to do. It made me realize I am truly a wimp and need Him every hour.  It made me thankful to serve him and Him.  It restored my faith in God and myself to do this together.  His inspiration and my hands and heart.  It filled me with more charity and love and a desire to serve in the best way I can with a better attitude.

After all this is what adversity is for in the long run.  Helping us learn who we are, what our weaknesses are and how to improve and be strengthened with the Lord's help.  Why does it take me so many times to learn this and go with the will of the Lord for me no matter what it may be?  And then to be grateful for it all and for the loving family and friends that stand behind us and pray for both of us to come through this thing like a couple of rock stars.  With this particular adversity...one of us is most assuredly a rock star and the other one is in training and on the way.


Just after surgery in recovery=
Rock Star


Happy Hat back on=
Wimpy Pansy in Training...
(Soon to be Rock Starlet :-)

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Our Son...39 Years Old Today!


You and your Mom!

This morning I woke up very early...it reminded me of the early morning of March 27th, 1975.  It was a day we hold very close to our hearts, the day our only son was born.  He arrived on the scene at around 7:25 AM.  It had been a hard day's night and worth every minute of it. When Jennifer went to bed the night before at Gramma Jo and Grampa's Ross' house she had a very pregnant Mommy.  When it was time for breakfast for her...she was a big sister.

One always thinks that babies are born at night..Chris was our only one.  Both of our girls were born during the day.  There is nothing quite like that feeling of working so hard and then finally holding your precious child in your arms.  That experience, as husband and wife, bonds you like no other.


Your parents long after you were born
About 2009


Chrissy and Jenny 1977



1997~The Wedding Day
 In The Salt Lake Temple 
With Reception at The
 Joseph Smith Memorial Building


Your goofy family of five At Sundance 2011!
This pose had some kind of significance
to someone in this  group...
No idea what?
Let's just call it a "shelfie" 
instead of a selfie!


The brothers your sisters gave you!


Mom, Jen, Grandma Gloria, Melissa, Laura


Your own little family!


Our Clan
Much Love from all of us, Christopher!
Happy Birthday!!!  You are Loved!

We are so pleased with you, Chris, and the choices you have made and the path your good life is taking.  We are so excited for your family to have the change to move to England in June to fulfill your Fulbright Scholarship opportunities on your  Sabbatical from BYU for one year.  What a wonderful chance for your children to live abroad again!  So many in our family and at Loughborough University will benefit.



Chris is in Brazil this week so we cannot even wish him a proper Happy Birthday today.  But that is OK. He's a man with important places to go and people to see.  We have learned in our family that the real celebrations and holidays happen whenever we can be together.  The date hardly matter anymore.  We are thankful for all the high quality times we do have together.  The Lord has richly blessed us all.


I adore this photo of my two Handsome Men
working together to improve the world and our world.

So a big shout out to you, Son! 
 We love you and wish you 
the very best today and always.

Love and big hugs,
❤♡♥♡❤♡♥♡❤♡♥s
Mom, Dad and Company