Sunday, November 30, 2014

Some Say Love ...

"... it is a river
And that it drowns the tender reed
And some say love, it's like a razor
And that it leaves your soul to bleed.

Some say love, it is a hunger
An endless aching need ..."

"The Rose" by Amanda McBroom

Today I attended sacrament services with my sister and brother-in-law's family--A very young member of their congregation, or ward, had passed away the week previous; the members were in mourning. Talks were given on the plan of salvation and on grief. My brother-in-law, bishop of the ward, spoke a few words on the godliness of grief and mourning. It was comforting to me, to be in the room and to embrace the feeling of mourning shared by all. Normally it seems grief is experienced in a lonely and misunderstood sort of way. It was a beautiful thing to step into the environment they had created where it was safe to feel; it was even relieving, and very touching.

I am grateful for that experience, and to have been there with my sister's children who, previous to my arrival, were sitting alone. Their dad was at the front on one of the seats behind the podium, and my sister was at home attending to the youngest ones who are ill with the flu. What a trooper my sister and her husband are. I could say the same of any of my siblings, really. What an amazing bunch of people.

One of the sacrament meeting speakers taught that when you open yourself to love, and to love deeply, you also make yourself vulnerable to grief, profound grief, should something come between you and your love. But it is worth it. Grief can be wearing, but should one succumb to overwhelming grief it is comforting to know that the grief is itself an expression of profound love. Contrary to the belief that "if I had more faith I would not suffer so," it may just be that the expression of our loss endears us all the more to those we love and our Father above.

Though bitterness and anger are normal parts of the grieving process, I have found that ultimate healing comes only when I am willing to acknowledge the love I have for the other person, or whatever it is I grieve the loss of. This can be difficult, and sometimes even counterintuitive, depending on the context. I know of no other way to access the healing balm of Gilead, however, than to seek for that love which overcometh all things.

I just want to thank my brother-in-law and his family for being a part of my life, and for sharing their love with me. I want to thank both of my brother-in-laws, actually, and their families, and my sister-in-laws as well and their families, for the love and examples they share as well. Families may operate on a wave of emotions more often than we like, or are comfortable/capable of coping with at times, but they are also the only entities that function and will support one another, for better or worse, during better or worse, and in spite of our/others' better or worst. Where there are exceptions, there is God.

I am so grateful.

"When the night has been too lonely
And the road has been to long
And you think that love is only
For the lucky and the strong

Just remember in the winter
Far beneath the bitter snows
Lies the seed that with the sun's love
In the spring becomes the rose..."

"The Rose" by Amanda McBroom

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Refiner's Fire

Key Notes From The Video


My plan ... I wanted ... so that's what I was/am doing

Then suddenly ... My plans/goals are altered, or need to be altered

The Lady's Response To The Change In Her Plans ...

"I began to think: 'Maybe I couldn't do this. Maybe I wasn't strong enough.' I began to think that I might fail."

"It's not always about us, like we're not going through this because we need to change, or we're not good enough. I became someone ... more capable of helping others, and of having compassion, and of understanding at an intimate level ...what other people go through."

". . . I find a great deal of joy in using the things that I've learned to help other people--especially families who have children with cancer. One of my missions in life is to comfort others who are going through cancer. And I know how to do it because I've been through it."

"To me it's like Newton's law: for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. Equal. and Opposite. So I think the greater our sorrow is, the greater our capacity to feel joy."

"I've been surprised. I feel a great deal of tenderness toward my Savior because he really is so sweet. He really does provide what you need."

My Belief/Response To The Video

I believe that God loves each one of us--no matter what we are called to go through in life. No person on this earth has suffered more for others than Jesus Christ our Savior and Redeemer. And it was in love that Christ was called to suffer the "pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind . . . that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities" and "that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance . . . And . . . take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people" (Alma 7:11-13).

I believe that it was love, profound love for us and Heavenly Father, that inspired the Savior to accept his calling to pass through an immeasurably hot furnace of fire with faith, hope and diligence--in order to redeem us from sin and from sorrow.

I agree with Peter's perspective on enduring suffering in patience, no matter the cause: "...What glory is it," he said, "if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. . . . For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endure grief, suffering wrongfully . . ."

". . . For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously . . ." and bore "our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness," that by his stripes we may be healed" (1 Peter 2:19-25).

I find it significant that Peter who teaches of enduring suffering patiently was the one who first rebuked Jesus Christ for prophesying that "he must suffer many things of the elders and chief priests and scribes" in Jerusalem, "and be killed, and be raised again the third day" (Matthew 16: 21-24).

Peter's rebuke, "Be it far from thee, Lord: this shall not be unto thee," was an offense to the Lord, for it demonstrated that Peter "savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men," for the Lord's mission on this earth could be accomplished no other way. Whereafter the Lord counseled Peter and the rest of his disciples, "If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me."

Thus, in order for the Lord to fulfill his mission on this earth--to bring about the salvation of mankind--he also was called to pass through the the refiner's fire.

It is my prayer that when I am called to endure, and pass through the refiner's fire, and anyone else reading this post--be it in the present or in the future, or the way reflect on our burdens of the past--that we will seek to do so patiently, with a grateful heart, and that we will find peace and strength in the Lord--not the peace that "the world giveth", but in the love of God and the love of our fellow men (John 14:27).

May ". . . the God of all grace, who hath called us into his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen," and "settle you" (1 Peter 5:10). This is my prayer. In the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Other Resources:

Adversity, by President Henry B. Eyring (2009, General Conference, April)

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Bathroom Tile Treasures

Can you find . . .

  • A Woman's Face (a few women's faces, actually)
  • A Miniature Doxen (Dog) Running 
  • A Bunny's Head (or a dog's head if you were to ask my niece and nephew lol)
  • A Scottish Terrior (Dog) Looking Back (from Lady and the Tramp
  • A Woman's Eyes (just a eye shot)

I love tile, so much! When my dad updated some of the rooms in the house and put tile in the bathrooms upstairs I found aesthetic appreciation for tile beyond its wonderfully earthy feel. I love playing eye spy in the bathroom, lol. Oftentimes I'll find objects without even looking for them. They'll just pop out. For a few years now I've thought about capturing them, but now I'm actually doing it! Haha. Happy searching! 

Saturday, November 22, 2014

"Lord, is it I?"

I meant to share this early this morning. I'll have to go back and share some other video that I think is amazing and had the same desire to share it with everybody, but I wanted it to be separate from the normal feed. So I figured out the technical stuff this morning to create a separate feed for the things I feel so inspired by that I just cannot keep it to myself anymore, and am just now putting this up! Yay! I hope you love it as much as I do!
Now that I've published this post I've discovered a few bugs and realize I haven't really solved my problem with creating a separate feed for these posts. I knew the home page would show all the posts, of course, but I'd prefer to get a separate feed working and I don't have time to fix the bugs right now. It's late and I have other things to do. Sorry it's not working yet! Eventually I'll come up with a design that's not super annoying. Until then, WYSIWYG :) It's kind of annoying, but hopefully you can get past that! Thanks for your patience!

Monday, November 10, 2014

More Faces

More faces I drew yesterday. I'll get back to writing soon...