Thursday, March 19, 2015

Feeling Gorgeous!

Helloooooo summer!  I await you with a grin and a new swimsuit!  

My beloved friends, I often spent my time on the blog in studiously teaching principles as God has taught them to me, and truly, this one is no less poignant than the others, though with perhaps a bit more of a fun, passionate twist.  It is one of the great blessings to just feel wonderful and bask in your own happy spirit.  Have I any particular reason that drives me to this today?  None more than usual.  Just choose to look at the blessings, become one with yourself and smile heavenward in gratitude.  Recognize that within yourself potential and divinity reside!  Connect to yourself as a human, a child of God, and blissfully enjoy being what you are.  

I am grateful particularly to be a woman.  I am grateful to God for those blessings that accompany femininity.  I am grateful to feel like a woman, to be able to feel amazing and grateful for the blessings of having that spark of feminine joy.  I am grateful for the ability to feel wonderful as a female and grateful for the ability to connect to my own soul.  I know that sometimes we feel that we are less than perfect and that some of us are dreading donning that swimsuit this year.  I used to as well.  I know we are sometimes worried about figure flaws and the like.  Do I have flaws in my physique?  *Sassy toss of black curls*  Well, not today!!  Today I am feeling too wonderful to notice or care.  Going to change into that suit and dance my life away with my kiddos sometime soon.  What if other people think I have figure flaws?  That is their problem, not mine.  And honestly, when you are wearing a happy expression it's infectious and likely others will want to be happy with you, flaws and all!

Monday, March 16, 2015

Don't Believe Everything You Read!

My dear, gentle reader.  I have wearied your patient ears with my own words for some time but today I would like to extend a reprieve and introduce two new, extraordinary published authors.  They are filled with creativity and passion.  They have read extensively from their earliest moments and quote books from Harry Potter to Shakespeare.  Their names are Julia and Joshua Burger, aged eight and seven respectively and they would like to teach the lesson to their fellow kids that even though it is written on the internet in print, it just might not be true!!!  I will now turn the time over to them to teach in their own words and in their own magnificent way!

Julia: Queen Elizabeth II ate a big, fat, car.It is true. I saw it!!!!!!!

Joshua: my water bottle yells when it eats a pickle.Its true I saw it!!!!!!

Julia: Aldebaran punched VY Canis Majoris in the chest. i was the referee.
       (Editor's Note: For those who don't know, Aldebaran and VY Canis Majoris are names of stars.)

Joshua: Every time I go walking I always get spanked by the sidewalk.

Julia: VY Canis Majoris got his head stuck in the toilet.  It took two plumbers and a goldfish tank to get him free!  (Editor added that last sentence.)

Joshua: My cat has laser eyes and his paws are shaped like a couch!  (Editor's note:  We have a cat???)

Julia: VV Cephei broke his arm and went to the hospital.  He got two thousand X rays of his arm and figured out it was fractured. (Editor's note: VV Cephei is another star, for those who don't spend their time studying astronomy in vast detail.)

Joshua: My bottom got stuck in a cholla cactus and I got stuck hanging there for two days!  Finally my yell got stronger and a trampoline had to cut me down!

Julia: Regal (another star) ate a toaster!  (Editor's note: Did it include strawberry pop tarts? Oh - she informs me that it did.)

Joshua: My cat is invisible and likes to get an ax and cut off my limbs.  (Editor's Note:  Oh, that's why I didn't know we had a cat.  It's invisible!)

Julia: I have a pet banana who has a big mouth.  He says, "I am very skinny but I want to be fat!" (Editor's note:  There is a lesson in that somewhere suitable for our anorexic society.  I may extend it to a full blog post later....)

Joshua:  Moaning Myrtle got her ear stuck in the toilet because she is ghost.  (Editor's note: ...Ummm...yeah...that makes perfect sense!)

Julia: Sir Nicholas got his head stuck in the ceiling fan.  (Editor's note: Which is particularly difficult for a disembodied ghost like the one from Harry Potter to do, if we realize.)

Joshua:  My teeth are pitch black even though I spend all my time brushing and I've never held anything else except the toothbrush and the tooth paste.  Even at school.  (Editor's note:  Except for the few times he feeds and pets our invisible cat.  Of course.)

Hope you all had an enjoyable read.  We had a very enjoyable Family Home Evening teaching all of you!  Until next time, with love, Julia and Joshua Burger!  Ha, ha!

Sunday, March 15, 2015

Never Assume

The Lord often allows us experiences in order to teach us something or broaden our modes of thinking.  Such proved the case recently when my son found himself invited to a birthday party at a friend's home.  I had no idea what to expect as I had never met this friend or his parents and upon entering the yard where children ran about I found a group of adults who, though seeming quite comfortable with each other, made little to no effort to have anything to do with me.  Moreover, at first glance I saw in them full body tattoos, a deep and abiding interest in hot rods, somewhat revealing clothing, and such logos as would prove their very comfortable and obvious employment of pornography.  Swallowing my initial surprise I met them cheerfully and jumped in to help set up such decorations as were at hand.  Initiating conversation I found them kind but still rather aloof.  Then they broke out the alcohol. 

Still not knowing much of these people I kept a close eye on my children to ensure that they would not be invited to do anything wrong or distasteful and as I did so, sitting alone near the children, I reminded myself that there was good in all people and decided to actively look for positive attributes in the adults around me.  The first thing I noticed was how the tattoo covered, otherwise rough looking men treated children and babies.  They were loving, careful, and tender toward all the children.  I saw more men cuddling infants than women, and consider that perhaps they were giving their wives a break from their usual responsibilities.  Then, acting upon an impression to do so, I entered the house.  The spirit change hit me like a ton of bricks and the first thing I noticed was that on the opposite wall was a plaque with the lyrics to "Amazing Grace."  Searching about like an active detective I found sprinkled here and there scripture references, signs of the cross and other indications of a family very dedicated to God, country and each other.  

I investigated further and realized that though many of the tattoos ranged from skulls to victims spouting blood and even a swastika, there were many scripture references and crucifixes etched into their skin.  Still they were cordial but aloof to a point that led me to wonder.  Looking at my own modest attire I realized, and felt impressed through the Spirit, that because I bore no outward sign of proclaiming Christianity on my sleeve or my skin, they may in fact feel that I was a Godless, heathenish, unbeliever and were wary of becoming too close to one of the unclean.  I have never in my life had anyone question whether or not God was a part of my life - it was a new experience and rather a strange, eye opening one, I confess.  I decided to put this idea to the test and deliberately dropped hints of my church attendance and service.  They immediately warmed up.  I happened into a conversation with the homeowner and complimented the use of scriptures in her decorating.  I inquired which church she attended and she answered contentedly.  Then she turned and asked me in a firm, almost cold manner if I attended church.  It was obvious that to her the distinction between a churchgoer and a person who did not attend was much the same as the difference between a saint and a demon from hell, and she wasn't going to stain her honor by befriending a child of the devil.  I warmly assured her that I did and, softening, she asked which church.  When I told her I was from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, a rather amusing thing happened.  I watched her face and manner move from a momentary haughty, then strained forgiving expression and she said, as though trying to accept my somewhat lost soul out of her own desires to emulate Christlike long suffering that, of course, everyone loves Jesus.  

Ironically, both me and the others were initially led by what we first saw and while they still do not know this, I was wearing temple garments, a symbol of my devotion to God, under my clothing the entire time.  These garments almost never leave my person but my devotion to God is so powerful, precious, and sacred to me that I refrain from wearing it outwardly, keeping it closer to my skin than anything else I put on.  

My friends, remember to look for the good in others and seek to render to each person the benefit of the doubt.  And as far as you are able, never, ever assume.

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Inside an LDS Temple

I know many people including myself have described and discussed much of what doctrinally happens inside a temple, so I will refrain from so doing at present.  Today I'd like to take you inside the feeling of a temple of God and let you know what happens on more of an emotional and spiritual level than we generally find on the internet.

Firstly, let's begin with preparation.  As many are now aware, not just anyone, even just any member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, can walk into a temple.  It begins with two interviews concerning one's testimony and worthiness, first with the bishop over one's ward (congregation) and then with the stake president who is over about eight or nine wards in a set area.  Assuming we pass both those interviews, we can now enter into the doors and past the foyer of the temple.  

My first experience and thought when I entered the temple was one of sheer, blinding light.  As I walked past the front desk and into the major part of the temple itself I found everyone smiling and dressed in white.  Since everyone wears simple, modest white clothing and excessive jewelry is strongly discouraged there were no distinctions between rank or wealth.  I remember feeling an initial rush of power and peace as I entered and which still makes itself manifest no matter how many times I visit the edifice.  Although I am not necessarily at liberty within my own conscience to outline what one learns in the temple I will say this.  A person will get nearer to God and gain an appreciation of him or her self by going to the temple than by any other way of which I am aware.  The first thing that happens, essentially, is that you find yourself blessed in every aspect just for having made it in the doors.  You are regarded as a son or daughter of God with divine potential and a powerful spiritual identity and purpose.  You learn of your spiritual destiny and refocus on your eternal direction.  I know of no better way to develop or progress personally than by visiting the temple and learning those beautiful, heavenly truths about yourself and your relationship with God.  

Although I have been to the temple on very busy days I have never found anyone in the temple to be uncomfortably rushed.  Time seems to stop and patience and order reign.  All who enter worthily recognize that this is where they ought to be and will take the time to lay aside worldly cares to be there.  I have never known of contention among those who work inside the temple, and we greet each other with fellowship and friendship.  I have rarely if ever seen a temple worker out of sorts or short of temper.  Heated argument simply doesn't exist within those walls.  As many know, we change from our street clothes into white temple appropriate clothing upon our arrival and it is a breath of fresh air to literally step away from what binds us to the world and put on clothes the color of cleanliness and purity.  I often take a moment to pray when I first change into my flowing, floor length dress and thank the Lord for giving me that break from the world, and as one might imagine, after I have spent much time there it can be very difficult to bring myself to leave. 

Weeping in Darkness

I wander lost among the thorns of life
Striving upward glances to the sun
Finding all my strength forsook, my hope
In faded dreams and heart’s faith wholly gone.

In this I find my troubled way in steps
More painful than I erst could think to bear.
I stretch unto my God for hallowed grace
But find my footing wet and slipping there.

I curl into the black embrace of arms
Round huggéd knees, my hands reach o’er my face.
I hide in this my dark, benighted frame
In shield against the winds and hot disgrace

That eats my soul, infesting in my skin.
No gentle plea to heaven softens this
Deep aching, thus I reach out to the world
And strive to pain become at length remiss.

In giving up the life that held me fast
I blissful find myself with God at last.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Monster at the Mountainside

Rough, darkened blaze lashed at my feet
I walked through tortured earth
Surrendering my vanished hopes,
Accepting hellish dearth. 

I strode like one from nightmare’s grasp
Who struggles in her sleep
In darkened, bound, benighted chains
Pinned to a mountain steep

There, one great monster o’er the sky
Guards jealously his spoil,
Proclaiming dev’lish, sinful right
Around my body coil

His blandish weapons, tightened harsh
Against my aching skin.
I struggle hard to no avail
He strives to enter in

My flesh and keep me his own prize
I fight but all in vain.
Is all life lost?  I wonder, ill,
Confuséd from the pain.

I plead for mercy, God above
Lends strength but not rescue.
Here still I pray and fight my best
Against the dismal hue

Of blackened soul who holds me fast
Within his tightened grip.
I strive for rest, I look for sign
Of iron hands to rip.

But still no light appears before
My weary, weakened eyes
In hope despaired, love bows its head
In anguished pain and cries.

Walking Through the Waters

I stood beside a river's edge
In sacred, holy night
There watching moon's reflected face
In shimmered visage bright.

It lit my pathway here beyond
My stunted, harrowed way
Accessing life and peace abroad
Inciting tongue to say

In all the hope of blighted dreams
"Here is a pathway shown!
Where water stood before my feet
I'm here no more alone!"

For there before my watchful gaze
The churning river ceased
Allowing me a path of dry
Beloved, hallowed peace.

I walked ahead through tempest hushed
On through the decreed course
That God above had made for me -
Great peace from deep remorse.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

When Trials Don't End

Again I turn within myself
In humbled, mighty plea
Toward heaven's tender, constant ear
Upon a bender knee.

Through many years I've found myself
In beck'ning prayer thus
Most constant to my urgent grief
On journey perilous

With still no ending - yet I keep
My feet upon this tread
Mind wondering if this harsh trial
Will follow me to dead,

Bewildered end of living breath
Consuming all my days
But trust once more to His, not mine
Almighty, sacred ways.