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.

I love The Book of Mormon

In my personal scripture study I have begun to read again The Book of Mormon. Every time I read I do not read through all the introduction stuff at the beginning of the book. But from time to time I do begin at the Title page. This was one of those times. Tonight I just finished the opening introduction pages and they are beautiful! every piece is another powerful testimony of the truth of the book and its being another testament of the divinity of Jesus Christ. And with every page my own testimony was strengthened.

I invite all of my dear friends and family to spend a little time with The Book of Mormon. It will be time very well spent.
“We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.)” ~Introduction to the Book of Mormon~


Half Asleep

An amusing conversation I had with Clark early one morning.

I had noticed he did not get up after alarms had gone off. I went into his room and called to him.

Me: “Clark! Are you getting up.”
Clark: (As he lay still on his bed) “That will be determined by many different factors.”
Me: “Well, do you want to go to seminary this morning?”
Clark: “Yes.” (He sits up on the edge of his bed) “The other factors are not within the physical realm.”
Me: “What exactly does that mean?”
Clark: “I had a dream. Let’s just say I’m very glad I do not have feathers.”

hahahaha  Clark is so funny!