Sunday, October 25, 2020

Hearing the Music

I want to share something special—something very close to my heart today—that I hope will lift you and strengthen you.

I’ve been listening to an audiobook by Gerald Lund called "Divine Signatures,” and in chapter three, he shares a story from when he was a young boy with a paper route. (Oh, I love paper route stories…) A woman who was paying him for her subscription didn’t have cash, and because Venmo didn’t exist yet, she took a check that a neighbor had written to her for $27 and wrote it over to him, and then he gave her some change. To make a long story short, he lost the check and was just sick about it. Not only were all his profits gone for the month ($20), but his family would have to come up with the remaining $7 to pay for the papers, and money was tight for all of them.

He looked everywhere for the check, but it was nowhere to be found. He then thought, “I don’t know where that check is, but God does,” and so he offered a prayer asking for help finding it. When he opened his eyes after the prayer, he saw the check—just 2-3 feet in front of him, tucked into a tumbleweed. 

As I heard that story, I remembered a similar story my mother told me that I had not yet written down. (So I’m writing it down today!) 

She had knee surgery prior to the Alzheimer’s, and it was really difficult for her to move around during her recovery. I remember her telling me she couldn’t kneel to pray anymore, but she knew that God could tell she was kneeling in her heart. 🙂 

One day, she was sitting in the recliner next to her bed, having her Divine Fellowship (where she studied her scriptures, prayed, and talked with God), and she said the thoughts and feelings that came to her were so sweet. They brought tears to her eyes, and the more she read and invited the Spirit into her heart, the more the tears came. 

“After a few minutes, my face was wet with tears and my nose was dripping, and I was such a mess. I looked all around me for a tissue, but I couldn’t find one, and I didn’t want to go through the effort to get up because it was so difficult to move, and I didn’t want to lose that sweet feeling I was having. I decided to just use the sleeves of my bathrobe to wipe my tears and my nose, and then I closed my eyes and said a silent prayer—apologizing to the Lord for the mess, but thanking Him for the beautiful, sweet experience I was having. Then, when I opened my eyes, I looked to the left, and there was a little packet of tissues, standing up on its side right next to me. There was no way I had missed it before. And it wasn’t just sitting in a pile of things. It was propped up, at a little angle so I would be sure to see it—almost as though when I was praying, an angel had come and set it down for me. “

I can still remember her thoughtful, humble, surprised-but not-surprised tone of voice as she shared that with me in one of our phone calls, and I remember thinking, “This sweet mother. God loves her so much that He not only gives her His love…He makes sure to hand her a tissue.”

That is the kind of faith I want to have. That is the kind of person I want to be. Those are the kinds of experiences I want to invite into our family on a regular basis.

Eric, the boys, and I have been reading our scriptures together in the mornings, and in our recent General Conference at church, the president of our church, Russell M. Nelson invited us to look for promises made to the House of Israel. This scripture is one our family read together recently--that touches my heart when I read it because of the closeness and the protection that it offers: “For ye shall not go out with haste nor go by flight; for the Lord will go before you, and the God of Israel shall be your rearward.” (3 Nephi 20:42) 

I also love this one in Isaiah 41:13: "For I the Lord thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee.”

So beautiful.

And then before I close, I have to include one more quote from the “Divine Signatures” book. I was listening to the audio, so I had to pause it several times to get all of it typed out, but I think I got it right: 

"The Lord’s Hand is in our lives. If we will but feel for it in the darkness, we can grasp it and be lifted thereby. Those who do not believe in a God who watches over His children and cares for them will openly scoff at such a notion. That is all right. As the popular saying notes, 'Those who danced were thought to be quite insane by those who could not hear the music.' Those who believe that God lives and is a loving Heavenly Father hear a music that others do not.”  - James E. Talmage

There is so much divisiveness in the world right now, and the last thing I want is to contribute to that divisiveness (because I know that God, religion, and scripture are topics that can elicit all kinds of emotions), but I also want to make sure that I am using my voice to share the sweetness I feel—and the music I hear—and the power that I know is available to each one of us. 

God works in unique ways with each of His children. The way He communicates with me will be different than the way He communicates with you. I love that, and I respect that. God's music is composed on an individual, personal, beautiful level, which gives each of us the latitude we need. I just want to encourage each one of us to pay attention. It makes a powerful difference.

Much love,

Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Three Years Later :) Questions I’m Asking

Hello, friends!

I hope you are well, and I am sending my love from this little corner of the internet. 

My last post was about how my mom was doing, and it has now been almost exactly three years since she passed. I wrote about the beautiful way she transitioned to the other side in this post on Power of Moms, if you’d like to read it.

And do you know that she is still such a beautiful part of our lives? I can’t even tell you how many stories I’ve heard from my siblings, friends, and extended family members about her influence—in addition to my own special experiences. Oh, it’s so sweet.

And then this past March, our dear dad joined her. He developed brain cancer and had a fairly quick transition, and while I want to record all of the details and stories now, I’m going to leave it with this drawing that Grace made for me:

I love that. I miss them terribly, but the thought of them together gives me a lift.

A lot has been going on behind the scenes here—our family moved from Southern California to Utah, Alia left to Ukraine to serve a mission for our church, Grace started college, and Eric and I are now raising two teenage boys (Ethan, 17, and Spencer, 13), running together, and serving in our church callings. Life is full, beautiful, challenging, and fun, and we are growing each day.

Okay, so why am I writing here again?

Today I took a couple of hours to think (sitting on a blanket at a local park), and I asked myself a series of questions. The process has been really helpful, so I’ll include the questions here, in case you’d like to do something similar:

  • What do I need to start doing/stop doing?
  • How can I set up my life more optimally so I have more to look forward to?
  • How and where can I speak more of Christ?
  • How can I set up my scripture study schedule so I can make the most of my time and learn what God wants for me?
  • What am I hungry for?
  • What do I want to say with my life?
  • What would my life need to look like in order to consider myself a true instrument in the hands of God?
  • How can I let God prevail in my life?
  • If I were to live my true purpose—and be a support to others—what would that look like?
As I was thinking and journaling, I realized that I need “a place” to record more of the thoughts of my heart. I do a lot of writing, podcasting, and teaching at LearnDoBecome with Eric (which I love—and it has grown so much), but I’ve noticed that I censor myself a lot there because it’s a business, and I feel like I need to be more careful and focused with what I say. Maybe that’s a reality I’ve created in my head, but for now, this blog feels like the safest place to write!

So I’m not sure what and how often I’ll be posting here, but reconnecting with a little “hello” was my next action, so there you go.  :)

Question for you before I close up: Who are you? Where do you live? What are you up to? Are there any questions you’ve been pondering in your life that you’d like to share? I look forward to connecting.  


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