A Winter Drive

cattailsThe morning of February 1st we had an obnoxious storm. It had started out as rain but turned into a wet and heavy snow. Normally I would not have given it a whole lot of thought and just hunkered down at home until it was over and the roads were cleared. But later that morning my son had an important dental appointment in August, about a 35 minute drive north. I had to go out in the weather and I was a little annoyed by it.

As things would have it the snow had stopped just before we had to leave.  The roads in town were a little rough but once we got out on the high, which was the majority of our trip, the roads were find.

With the winter rain that had fallen first, creating an icy foundation for the snow, it caused the snow to stick fast to everything it fell on. The drive turned out to be a half hour of breathtaking scenic views

On ether side of the highway there were rows of trees covered in thick snow. The frosted look on the deep color of the evergreens was a gorgeous contrast and the bare winter branches of the leafy trees were bare no more. Instead they looked to be covered in white spring blossoms. Along the way there would be patches of ground with no trees. In these place instead were tall, yellow wild grasses with dried leaning cattails sticking out of the smooth windblown snow. Every couple of feet I would gasp and say to my children, “Just look how beautiful the earth is!”

Every now and again a gust of wind would dart quickly across the road and grab up some snow and toss it into the air. The snow was wet and heavy so it did not swirl around in the air as it usually does, rather it would shoot up into the air and create a frosty arch over the high way. And we would just drive right under it with soft blue skies up ahead of us.

I found myself saying a prayer of both an apology for my original annoyance at the weather and of gratitude for the opportunity I had to see it all. If Asher had not had that appointment I would have just stayed home and inside until the full glory of the day had been diminished with time.

This earth is truly glorious!

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Unprepared

A dream I had the night of February 1st 2018

Floral_Blossom-wallpaper-10151853-783006There was some general talk about going on a temple trip on a bus with a group of other people. And although I do not remember talking directly to him about it I just sort of knew I would be going with my ex-husband. I felt uneasy about the trip and did not want to go. I kept saying things like, “Maybe this time I wont go.” or ‘I don’t think I want to go.” The thing of it was I did want to go to the temple. I very much wanted to be in the temple I just didn’t want to in that way.

The general coloring of everything was pale blues and grays and gray-blues and the feeling was pretty cold except for my own anxiety over my indecision.

I put off any definite decision until I knew he had already gotten on the bus. I was pretty sure I wasn’t going to go. But at the last minute I ran out to the bus and waved as I yelled out for the driver to stop because I was coming after all. There was a man standing inside the bus on the stars just inside the doors. He was the only one in dark or bright colors. He had on a dark colored suit, a very white shirt and noticeably red socks. It appeared that he had been waiting for me. Me in the dream knew who he was but after waking up I do not even remember a distinct feature except that he was tall and had an easy natural smile. I could see him turn around and gesture to the driver. The bus stopped and the doors opened. He held out his hand to help me up that first big step and told me he was glad I had decided to come. At that point I realized that my daughter was with me, only instead of 12 years old she was maybe 3. I handed her up first and the man busted her up to the top of the stars and then took my hand and jumped onto the first step. I realized that in my indecision and last minute deciding to go I had not properly prepared. I was not dressed for the temple. I was wearing a blue and gray plad button down shirt and jeans. He told me that it did not matter and that it was just good that I had decided to come

At first I could see my ex-husband in the back of the bus. I shifted a little uncomfortably wondering where my daughter and I should sit. But that is the last I remember seeing him all in the dream.

Holding my daughters hand I lead her down the bus isle and we took a seat on the left side. Once we were sitting I felt very much at ease and was glad to be there. As we approached the temple people were deciding where they were going to go and what work they would do in the temple that day. I was asked what my plans were. The man who had helped me into the bus did not directly ask me but he was in the group that was talking and making plans. As I though over what my plans were for that trip I watched my little 3 year old Constance bounce around and being a little restless. I then said because Constance was not in a calm enough mood to sit through and endowment session and because I was not really properly dressed for the temple I thought I would go and do baptism that day. (Why baptisms would have made the difference in ether case I do not know. But that is how dreams work.) At that moment we were all in the temple foyer and the man with the red socks–who earlier had stated that he would be doing an endowment session–with his very comfortable smile, said he understood my choice and suggested that we meet up later in the foyer. To which I agreed.

As I turned, with Constance in tow, to the baptistery I began to calculate the time an endowment session would take so I would be sure to plan my time accordingly and not be overly later than the others and make people wait. When I opened the door that you might expect to find the stairwell going down instead it opened to a long hallway. The walls were a lovely pale pink like the color of cherry blossoms in the spring time. The rug on the floor was a deeper pink and there was a pink sort of light glowing from the floor up the walls. The light was very bright at the floor level and  dimmed as it went higher up. there were big white lights on the ceiling. In the middle of the hall all the way as far as I could see, there were small square tables set up and sister missionaries sitting at each table.  I somehow just knew that as we made our down the hall we were to stop and hear a message from each set of missionaries. At the first table I help Constance into a chair and sat down. The sisters there gave us these rectangular clear plates with small football logos in the corners. I remember thinking it was very odd but I just went with it. They also gave us some colorful straws but I do not remember any refreshments or drinks being offered.

The sisters greeted us happily and asked some introductory questions. It was at this point that I woke up. I lay there on my bed feeling very calm and almost as though the pleasant loveliness of the pink hall way was still present in my room. I had for a moment or two forgotten it was winter as I was surrounded with a deep warmth.

 

I Am Not an Island

I am not an island.  What I am is a hermit living on a tiny little island.  I believe I first came to my island a long time ago. It was easier to hide on my island than to pretend all was well. Even more terrifying was the idea of talking about or exposing my fears and pain to others. It seemed a better solution to just withdraw. I was comfortable there for a while. But I remember how in my teens; standing on the shore line of my little island, looking out towards the mainland I decided I wanted to be there.

It was hard to leave my island. It was scary crossing the deep and rough waters that had for so long separated me and my island, even protected me, from the people on the mainland. That journey took a lot longer than I had expected. But as I approached the shore I was met with love. Many people welcomed and helped me out of the waters and to find footing on solid ground again and I began to enjoy the vast places I could go and the people I met along the way.

Then, so unexpectedly, I was again in pain, excruciating pain, and all I wanted was to return to the safety of my island. Getting to my island is a lot easier than it was getting off. This time I did not go alone. I took my children with me and for along while I was very happy there. My children and I were happy there and we liked being together. But I did not, maybe I could not, see the damage I was doing. I did not understand that my island was not a safe place for my children.

As they have grown I have watched them. I have seen their own pains deepen in the shadows of my little island. I have watched them stand on the shores and gaze longingly across the waters. I have seen their struggled attempts to cross the water only to turn back in fear or capsize and wash up again gasping on the shore of my little island.

But I have crossed those waters before. I know that though the way is hard and difficult, at the other end is love. It is time for me to cross those waters again. I must cross them again with each of my children. For each of them will have a different journey to take. It was I who brought them to my island now I must help my children safely to the mainland; safely into a life of freedom, where they feel safe to love and to be loved.

 

 

May 20th, 2013

I had a crazy dream last night! I had taken Tucker to the emergency room and the doctor would not prescribe him any medicine and told me to come back the next day instead. But then I wrecked the van trying to turn around on a skinny muddy road so I couldn’t go back after all. I remember putting my head down on the steering wheel and crying while I could feel the wind blowing in from the broken back window. It was one of those hopeless feeling dreams. I hope it has no meaning and is just the result of being very over stressed

Family is a Serious Business.

(March 7th 2013)Tucker at the MCT Cropped

My Tucker is such an amazing person. It was his turn for the Conducting and dessert for FHE tonight. When he called us together he was dressed in a full suit and tie. He gathered us at the dinning room table and had Constance pass out folders to everyone. Constance was all dressed up official like too. Inside the folders were our meeting agendas all typed and orderly with a pencil for note taking. He even had a table set up off to he side with doughnuts and hot chocolate. Who would have known that a business meeting could be so fun. I am going to save my agenda sheet in my scrap book. Tucker has always been creative with his FHE assignments.

Comments given on facebook at the time it was posted:                                                           Jennifer Smith Barnett You really have the neatest, most amazing children:) they seem extra special—More spiritual; more in tune with family and god than most children are. Such a cute, sweet little man 🙂                                                                               Dena Worster Some kids get it. Tucker obviously does!                                                           North Elizabeth Giles Hmmm…he should come and conduct our FHE’s

“Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah.”

zion(This was written on March 12th, 2017)

 

Today has been a beautiful and interesting day. It has set me on a thought process. In stake conference today we sang the hymn “Guide Us O Thou Great Jehovah.” I have sung this hymn many times throughout my life but this morning in the third and final verse the lyrics really touched me.

 

“When the earth begins to tremble,
Bid our fearful thoughts be still;
When thy judgments spread destruction,
Keep us safe on Zion’s Hill.
Singing praises, Singing praises,
Songs of glory unto Thee,
Songs of glory unto Thee.”

So beautiful! I know that God is love and that love casteth out all fear. I am learning to trust him. I long to be among those standing safely in Zion and singing his praises.

Then this afternoon Constance and I watched “17 Miricles”
I cry from beginning to end every time I watch that movie. I have come to truly love the people whose lives it depicts.

As I thought about all the early Latter-Day Saints had been called to go through for their faith it got me thinking about the lyrics in the hymn this morning. It got me thinking about what I have been called to go through; things I have already experienced and seen and things in the future. This put me in mind of this quote I ran across last year by Elder Maxwell.

“The Church has done many difficult things, and from these achievements one would not wish to detract. But all the easy things the Church has had to do have been done. From now on it is high adventure!”
― Neal A. Maxwell, Wherefore, Ye Must Press Forward 1978

As I sat there listening to the ending song after the movie was over thinking on these things I admit it is tempting to be fearfully. But then the words of the hymn came back to me.
“When the earth begins to tremble,
Bid our fearful thoughts be still;”
The earth is trembling! But I am not afraid. Sad sometimes but not afraid.
“When thy judgments spread destruction,
Keep us safe on Zion’s Hill.”
From all that I have seen and experienced in this world I know that God’s judgments cannot be to far off. But I also know that Zion has been promised to those who are willing. I believe in Zion. With the guidance of Jesus Christ I think I am ready for the adventures ahead.

I Don’t Know Much

{This is a memory from exactly 1 year ago.}

Yesterday my heart was very weary. As I was preparing dinner my 16 year old son Clark comes to me and says, “So, Mom, how are you doing?” I breathed out a weary sigh and said, “Oh, Clark, I just don’t know.”

There was a brief pass. Then he put his arm around me in a sideways hug and said, “Well, I don’t know much but from what I do know I think you are doing just fine.”

I could not hep but smile. As a rush of love and comfort swept through me and I was reminded of the song “I Don’t know much” by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Neville. I wanted to dedicate this song to my tender hearted Clark and to say I love you too! And that may be all we need to know.