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I Am... Mama and Writer

First Mama.  Then Writer.  Though, of late, the latter has consumed a great deal of time as I work to get things in order to potentially be ...

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 48: Memphis Jim Boy

As a young girl, I heard stories about dogs we had when I was a baby.  There was one that was super patient.  When it got tired of me doing something it, it would put it's paw on my chest and sit me down.  That dog jumped a fence and ran away... purportedly because it got tired of my baby ways.
There were others, but I do not remember them.  I don't even remember any stories about them any more.  They ran away or were lost, it seems.  Always, it seemed they ran to get away from me.
Children tend to desire a pet.  Someone to love them no matter what, they think.  There is no real thought of or care about the time they require... the work necessary... children just want the pet for love.  My siblings and I were no different.
After, I imagine, years of begging, my parents decided to get a labradore retreiver.  And since my Dad was involved, it had to be a full-bred, registered dog.  Nothing but the best, of course.   He had visions of dog shows and a breeding program, I'm sure.
We got the puppy.  A cute male that my Dad promptly named Memphis Jim Boy.  We called him Jim or Jim Boy.  But since it was going to be a show dog, in my Dad's imagination, it had to have a long name befitting a ribbon winner.
There was lots of admiring and cuddling with the puppy was very small.  Eventually the newness wore off and our attentions moved elsewhere.  My Mom ended up taking care of the dog more than our Dad or any of us children.  And then she neared the time to deliver Ben.  She was tired and unwilling to have to take care of that dog and a newborn as well as everything else she had to do.
It was still traumatic to have our dog torn from us... or, at least, it was for me.  I may not have done well with it, but I sure did love it.  But then, he was just gone.

There was one time (or maybe a few?) that I was trying to walk Jim Boy and couldn't control him... so I ended up dragging on the ground behind him.  He was a strong pup!  That’s one of my Dad’s favorite stories pertaining to that dog.

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 47: Ask and Ye Shall Receive (a Lesson of Life)

As a bit of a forward:  I joined a group a few years ago in which we share compositions about Lessons of Life we have experienced.  Part of the aspects of our writing for this group is that we include two scriptures and two leadership quotes that add additional witness to our perspective (by the mouth of two or three... and all that).  I've written MANY of these, but share few here.  I am considering sharing more... but I balk because these are my pearls.  And we have been directed not to cast our pearls before swine lest they turn and rend us... and I've been sorely rent, my friend.  So... just one here and there for now.
Ask And Ye Shall Receive (written during our van living period during 2014)
recently read something in my meditation community by a woman who was asked a tough question.  The question has been nagging at me, too.  She was asked, "What do you believe that is keeping people from joining your meditation group?"  Well, I'm not trying to run a meditation group, but I do desire to have an influx of money for some things that I do sell and a business or two that I desire to build.
The woman who was initially asked this question came to the conclusion that she believed people didn't really want to hear what she had to say.  I'm not exactly sure what the root of my own belief is, but I'm certain I will find it as I prayerfully ponder over it.  I hope that through finding it, I will also be able to release it to the Atonement and be healed and experience the true Prosperity that Father has for and desires to bestow upon me and mine.
I know He has far more than I am receiving at this time because of an experience yesterday.  A man asked my  husband and me for a few pennies.  I literally had 4 pennies and a nickel.  I asked my husband how much we should give him and he said, "Whatever you have in your hand."  I had only what I've already shared.  I refused to be so ungenerous and took another few moments to find a few quarters in another part of my purse.
Even as I was putting together a few coins, and often in the last 20 hours or so, I've thought of this interaction.  While I was searching for the coins, I kept thinking, "If he'd asked for a few bills, I'd give it to him... I mean, I have a couple thousand with me right now!"  I rarely have much cash with me but because we'd just sold something I had a lot.  I wouldn't have given him all, as we need the majority of that money to just get by from day to day for the next month or so (until my husband gets a job).  But if he'd asked for more, I may have given him as much as $5.  But he asked for only pennies.  I gave him that, and more... and still wonder if I gave too little.
So now I wonder how much more Father has for me... but I just ask for far less than He would give! 
I truly beleive our Father in Heaven is the King of ALL.  Don't Fathers desire to bless their children?  Don't they want their children to have all that they need... ESPECIALLY if they are doing their pitiful best to improve and become all that He wants them to be?  I believe He does.  So, in addition to pondering over what belief I have that is holding me back, I'm going to ponder over what I need to ask Father for... and how!
The additional witnesses:
Matthew 21:22
"And all things, whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive."
Doctrine and Covenants 84:38
"And he that receiveth my Father receiveth my Father's kingdom; therefore all that my Father hath  shall be given unto him."
"It is evident that He intends that we do our part.  But what, specifically, are we to do?  No one would expect to receive a result from physical law without obeying it.  Spiritual law is the same.  As much as we want help, we must expect to follow the spiritual law that controls that help.  Spiritual law is not mysterious.  It is something that we can understand.  The scriptures define it in significant detail." 
(D&C 82: 10, 1 John 3:22, 1 Nephi 15:11)  
"The Lord has the power to bless us at any time.  Yet we see that to count on His help, we must consistently obey His commandments."  Richard G. Scott General Conference Talk: Obtaining Help from the Lord, October 1991
"By keeping the covenants of the gospel, all of the momentary trials of life can be transcended." Paul E. Koelliker General Conference Talk: Gospel Covenants Bring Promised Blessings, October 2005

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 46: Kindergarten Field Trip

We lived in Oak Harbor, Washington.  It was lovely there, from what I remember.  I enjoyed it very much.  I started school in Oak Harbor.  In my memory, my school (it was a whole building just for Kindergardeners) was high on a hill.  At the bottom of the hill was the Navy Exchange.
At Christmas time, we took a field trip and walked down the hill to the Navy Exchange.  I loved my teacher.  I think her name was Mrs. Wagner.
We sang songs in a big open area in the building that had the NEX.  I remember a woman either patting or pinching my cheek and commenting about how cute I was.
As we walked back up the hill to school, Mrs. Wagner was worried that it might start raining  because there were lots of clouds.  So, she started to sing "You Are My Sunshine".  She asked us to sing with her to make the request stronger.  And then asked us to sing louder so the sun would hear us.  I remember just belting out that song as loudly as I could because I loved her so much and wanted her to be happy.
I think the clouds did move, but maybe they didn't.
Look for the story about my experience of rain in Oak Harbor.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 45: Temple Trip 7-21-15

Today was, overall, a wonderful day. We went to the Temple in Dallas.
One strange thing to note is what seemed like hyperactivity of Police. We saw SO many on the interstate and in the city. WAY more than normal. Wonder if there is any connection to Jade Helm 15. We also saw what looked like a high-speed chase in progress... thankfully, it was going north when we were headed south. So strange. And since we don't tune into any local-ish news, we don't know if what we saw was publicized. ahwell
My experience in the Temple today is one I hope I will remember in the same way I remember the one in which I felt the presence of the woman whose work I did. THAT is an awesome treasure. I look forward to hugging her some day!
The Endowment presentation this time was the one that I have seen most frequently since coming to Texas. I like it a lot. I felt, for almost the entire viewing time, as though I were receiving a download of spiritual data... for lack of a better way to convey the feeling. I did experience at least one moment I can readily verbalize.
In my mind I saw a wave labeled... like I did when I was in grade school. Picture of wave. Line coming from top, box around the word "crest". Line from bottom, box around the word "trough". As a sort of narration, but not a part of the picture, per se, I felt "repetition". And so it is. Another experience with the "seasonality" of life. This one, in particular, referring to the highs and lows. And not all are the same at the same time. While one wave breaks, another rises... all over the place. Repeatedly. So too in the movement of humans in all the various ways we move... mentally, emotionally, physically, spiritually....
Before I went into the Temple today, I'd read another message from a long-time friend. I'm pretty sure she's already made her decision. It seems that she is down the path as others I've tried to help in the past. And down so far she's not going to come back the way she left. It seems like she's sorta just looking for me to say, "Okay... yeah... I get it. Well, maybe that's right for you, then." But I cannot. Because that's not true.
However, I don't think there is any way she would hear any version of that from me as a positive thing or loving - even though that's what I would be trying to convey. Why? Because in at least the last two communications she has conveyed a feeling of offense regarding something I've said. And I'm tired of trying to explain myself to yet another person who is projecting their own insecurities onto my blunt/directness. Communicating with people is becoming so burdensome most of the time lately. I just feel exhausted at trying to figure out how to say something so someone will not be offended! I mean... heck, if these same folks actually KNEW me, they wouldn't take offense when I mean none and they'd KNOW when I did. I guess that's part of the problem... so few of us ACTUALLY know or truly attempt to get to know another being.
I digress. I wanted to share what I need to tell her so that I'll remember it for whenever I feel like Heavenly Father says it's the right time for me to tell her what I feel He wants me to tell her.
Basically, it is this:
You are hacking at your own foundation with your fears and questions. Perhaps you did not have a solid foundation into Christ (THE Rock)... I have no real way of knowing. I believe Heavenly Father has given us all a good guide for overcoming fear and confusion: go back to the basics. If we doubt basically everything, go back to whatever is most basic that we do, for sure, believe in, and build from there.
Perhaps that means we go back to knowing that God is our Father and we're not really sure about anything else.
The different Primary manuals are available online. If you have a smart phone, you can download LDS tools and get all of them in one place. Otherwise, you can surely download them via desktop or laptop, too. If I was feeling as confused as my friend, I'd go to the nursery manual and start with the very first lesson and read it and all scriptures, songs, and whatever mentioned in it. And not just read it, but read it prayerfully... with a desire to know the truth... and a complete willingness to do what the Lord would have me do. That last part is a pretty big key that lots of folks leave out when asking God questions.
For instance, Jessie (my husband) has asked God if the Book of Mormon is true. He hasn't read the whole thing, so that's part of the problem... but he's also not willing to make the necessary changes - the changes that would be absolutely necessary if he were to receive The answer. He's not willing to make those changes. He's NOT willing to give away all his sins to know the truth.
I'm not saying that I (or anyone else who has a solid testimony of the restored Gospel as it is in the LDS church) am free of sin and that's how I can have a testimony. Definitely not. I am saying that I'm *willing* to give away all my sins to know the truth. Line upon line, here a little, there a little... I have "favorite" sins I'm struggling to overcome just like anyone else. But I've overcome others that I didn't think I ever would! In and through Christ Jesus ANYTHING is possible! I know it, because I've lived it!!!
The other main thing I felt Father directed me to convey is this: I'm pretty sure my friend (and others including her son) have misunderstood the word perfect and perfection.
As a result of this communication with my friend, I spent some time looking stuff up in the Celestial Room (only paper scriptures there) and found myself understanding my friend's misunderstanding... feeling like I can see exactly how she has misunderstood and what the words she's misunderstood actually mean. However, I have also received direct and firm instruction that she needs to learn these things by her own effort. It is not mine to give.  And, honestly, I think the same is true for anyone reading this and wanting to know what perfect and perfection really mean in the scriptures as God used them through humans.
I'm hoping that if you doubt, you'll go back to the basics AND look into what God means by perfect and perfection....
I just feel like I want to describe this "spiritual download" because it was so cool! I haven't experienced anything like it to this magnitude before. The only time I've experienced anything similar has been in relation to meditation and that has been wonderful... but this was... I don't even know how to describe it right now! I felt, in a way (and this is sorta silly, I think, but it's really true), like I was the genie, realizing my cosmic power! Like in Aladin! heeheehee I feel like I'm laughing inside right now because it just sorta sounds goofy. Anyway... it was wonderful!
Perhaps this wonderful experience is a sort of gift... I mean, I've been trying so hard to help my friend to see the truth. And nothing has helped. It definitely feels like another special Confirmation experience similar to the one I had so that I know that Joseph Smith really did what he professed and so that I would know this church is where I needed to raise my children. It's definitely of that caliber of an experience. And maybe Father has given me this additional Confirmation as a gift because of my efforts with my friend... because I have been attempting to convey to her that IS true - even though He knows she's taken some of it the wrong way.
Evelyn and Chris both said something very similar to me while they were here. I mention it because, although I disagree with it very much for various reasons, I feel like Heavenly Father had them both say this thing to me so that I would both understand and be able to obey His direction to me that I NOT share all that I learned today. They didn't say it at the same time... and different conversations sparked the statement... and they weren't necessarily together when they said it... and it was said in different ways by both of them. But they both told me, basically, that it is very dangerous to give people what they haven't had to work for spiritually. I believe this principle is often (though not always!) true for any type of giving... I mean, look at the welfare problems! Anyway... I disagree because there have been SO many times when the forward motion I was able to make came as a result of someone just TELLing me truth straight out. But, I guess, as in SO many ways, I am not the norm in this regard. Because I've definitely already had the experience with my friend that she needs to come to know certain things for herself and she has not valued the knowledge I have come by... not really. Not in a "yes, I understand" sort of way. Anyway... just another example of what Jessie has said frequently: "God is an AWESOME planner!" He surely is!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Saturday Soliloquy 44: June 2015 Temple Trip

We went on a Saturday toward the end of the month. It was to be the day before I would receive my new calling.
I cannot remember all the details now. Shame on me for waiting to record it. I'm glad I am at all, though, at this point. I've been trying to get out at night to Applebees or somewhere to just write. That hasn't happened. In part because I've slept so much! Up late now writing and not going to town (even though I very much want to) because we spent so much money on today's Temple trip (July 2015). ahwell
So, I think it was in the Celestial Room... but it may have begun in the Endowment. I was there among many others. A wedding, perhaps? And basically everyone there knew each other. I was the only one I saw who didn't have someone to speak to at all.
I heard/felt, "You do not belong."
I sorta responded... um, yeah. Kind obvious.
"No. You do not belong here."
Me: yep. Don't know anyone. I know.
"No. You do not belong HERE." and then images of each place I've ever lived, each Ward (including current), and zooming out to a view of the world from space.
The most wonderfully strange thing was, it felt absolutely WONDERFUL and amazing! I felt like I was wrapped up in God's absolute total and unconditional Love FOR ME and that He was telling me that He KNOWS I am wonderful BECAUSE I didn't belong anywhere He'd shown me. I felt GOOD and Loved and RIGHT....
What a gift! Anytime to see and feel what I saw and felt. Even more so, as it happens, given what happened the next day.
Before I get to that, I must convey that a texting fiasco had transpired and I wasn't sure if anyone was going to actually communicate with me about it or not.
As it happens (pertaining to the fiasco), that was also a gift of the painful sort. Father has used it to show me that the GOSSIPyness of this Ward is definitely on par with Deland and probably even as bad as Bunnell... I don't think it could be worse than Bunnell... but then again, I was WAY more obtuse to understanding the meannesses swirling around me back then. *sigh* I praise God for sheltering me so lovingly for so long.
Back to the main story.
The next day, in communication with two sweet ladies, I came to understand that I would definitely be released.  I realized I might be called in one of a couple ways I'd suspected. One of the latter "hand" possibilities being a calling I adore...Nursery.  I was so hoping for that one!   Although I do know it is considered by most/many in the church (because they don't understand the truth) as a "step down". Which is difficult, right? I mean, we don't exactly WANT to care what others think, but it's often difficult to completely not care... even for me.
As a result of the realization that I would not have as close association with the sisters I had begun to feel close to, I just felt this crushing sorrow over losing the bonding agent that the current calling at the time had been for me.... I'm pretty sure, at this point, that I have only one true friend in this Ward.
So, I felt sorrow and experienced a reminder "You are Not Of This World!" as a flash-back to the experience from the day before. It definitely was comforting. I wish I was better... because I struggle so much with what is THE WORLD IN MY FACE... or EAR... or whatever.... Like the time when Jmy was pulled off the counter. *sigh* Anyway...
God is so good to me! And such an awesome planner!!! I'm so grateful!!!!

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