Wounded

This last October I turned 40 years old! My birthday always occurs around the Church of Jesus Christ’s general conference. This year my husband and I drove down with our daughter and our friend to experience this event.

It was wonderful. As we sat in the conference center this beautiful talk resonated with me.

Wounded by Elder Neil L Anderson

https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2018/10/wounded?lang=eng

“In the crucible of earthly trials, patiently move forward, and the

Savior’s healing power will

  • bring you light,
    • understanding,
      • peace,
        • and hope.”

In 2016 my brother Luc was studying in Belguim. We received a text from him telling us not to worry he was fine. I immediately searched the web and was shocked to see another terrorist attack.

In 2016, two suicide bombing happened at the Brussels airport and the third at the metro station.  The death toll was 35 and more than 300 injured. Time magazine estimated the 900 victims, “encompassing those affected by physical or psychological trauma”.

Among the injured were missionaries my brother Luc knew. One was Elder Richard Norby. He and his wife were serving a mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

He reflected about this event, “I tried to run for safety, but I immediately fell down. … I [noticed] black, almost spiderweb-type, soot drooping from both hands. I gently pulled at it, but realized it was not soot but my skin that had been burned. As the consciousness of what had just happened… I [had] this very strong thought: … the Savior knew where I was, what had just transpired.”

I don’t know many of us will experience a terrorist bombing, however, sometimes life drops its own bombs. They aren’t always physical but often in the daily routines of life… we experience an explosion, an attack on our peace.

These moments can feel dark and heavy. They can shock us and make us question if God really is aware of us. Although I haven’t felt my skin feel like spider webs or seen if fall from my body, yet, in a spiritual sense have felt the shock and horror of life’s events. I have also wondered, Where did I mess up to have such tragedy blind-side me.?

But I return to Elder Anderson’s initial thoughts.

“In the crucible of earthly trials, patiently move forward, and the

Savior’s healing power will

  • bring you light,
    • understanding,
      • peace,
        • and hope.”
A crucible, a dish of metal or glass, where metals can be burned to remove their impurities. It’s a place to become purer. The dross is removed and it becomes more valuable. This idea made me think of my life. Do I want to be purer? Do I want to become more useful? I sing the hymn, “More holiness give me.”
I sing these lines, “More holiness give me… More patience in suff’ring,
More trust in the Lord… More meekness in trial…. More strength to o’ercome, More purity give me.”
I know these lines are true and necessary. Yet, when the flames start I find myself wondering if being purer is overrated. Dross has its benefits, its comfortable. I guess I forgot what this line is teaching me. If I am purer I am more valuable to serve and assist others.
“More used would I be,”
If I could learn to trust the Lord and submit lovingly to His will, He would use me more in blessing his other children. Isn’t that awesome trust and ultimate love? Isn’t that the love He bestowed on His Beloved Son, Jesus Christ? He allowed Him to take the sins and pains of all His children.
Orson F Whitney encourages us to seek help from others. “‘To whom do we look, in days of grief and disaster, for help and consolation? . . . They are men and women who have suffered, and out of their experience in suffering, they bring forth the riches of their sympathy and condolences as a blessing to those now in need. Could they do this had they not suffered themselves?’”
God allows refining events in the lives of his most beloved children. In Mosiah the Lord states He will “ease the burdens … that even you cannot feel them …, even while you are in [the crucible]; God tells us why he allows his righteous to suffer in this phrase “this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me …and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” (Mosiah 24: 14) His only perfect child paid the highest price and descended below everything.  Could we really offer the help and support necessary to bless others if we never experienced grief and suffering?

The last verse of the hymn states

More purity give me,
More strength to o’ercome,
More freedom from earth-stains,
More longing for home.
More fit for the kingdom,
More used would I be,
More blessed and holy—
More, Savior, like thee.
The last line of the hymn reminds me of my goal to become like the pure Giver.
Elder Anderson compares life’s trials to a crucible; a place where impurities can be removed. Another Oxford definition of crucible states “a situation of severe trial, or in which different elements interact, leading to the creation of something new.” Earthly trials are an event which different elements combine to make a new substance. Thus, earthly trials become the catalyst for change. A change of heart, a new love; a renewing of faith, a new belief; a dependence on the One who can heal and love, a new relationship; a balm of healing for others, a new hope; a testimony of deliverance, a new understanding.

As Richard Norby understands this lesson he claimed… “The tests and trials that come to each of us give the opportunity and privilege to better know the Savior and understand in deeper detail his atoning sacrifice. It is he we lean on… seek out. … depend on. ..have confidence in…[and] love with all our heart, without any reservations. The Savior … takes the pain from us. He absorbs our sorrows.”

When someone is acquainted with grief and sorrow and offers their faith and testimony, our hearts can’t help but be pricked. We hear their faith and know that they offer the riches of their sympathies. I love Elder Anderson’s declaration: “The wounded who nurse the wounds of others are God’s angels on earth.”

“We each understand that difficulties are part of life, but when they come to us personally, they can take our breath away…we need to be ready. The Apostle Peter said, “Think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you.”7 Along with the bright colors of happiness and joy, the darker-colored threads of trial and tragedy are woven deeply into the fabric of our Father’s plan. These struggles, although difficult, often become our greatest teachers.8

As much as I resist the fire and even resent it. I know ultimately it is what the Lord wants me to become. Often like Helaman’s young fighters, I rejoice that “there was not one soul of them who did perish.” But I forget,  “And neither was there one soul among them who had not received many wounds.”9  Everyone gets wounded in life’s battlefield, either physically, spiritually, or both.

Jesus Christ will heal the wounds from the crucibles we encounter. I know this is true. I love this thought:

The Savior is our Good Samaritan,11 sent “to heal the brokenhearted.”12 He comes to us when others pass us by. With compassion, He places His healing balm on our wounds and binds them up. He carries us. He cares for us. He bids us, “Come unto me … and I shall heal [you].”13

I love the idea of our Savior being the Good Samaritan. At the time the Jews hated the Samaritans. Pride has been described as enmity or hatred. When I don’t see the crucible with love and gratitude I too hate the Samaritan. I forget His design is to help me depend on God. Like a wounded traveler on the road, I need Him to offer support and relief. I must remember He is the giver of good gifts. However He chooses to send them.

Come, ye disconsolate, where’er ye languish;

Come to the mercy seat, fervently kneel.

Here bring your wounded hearts; here tell your anguish.

Earth has no sorrow that heav’n cannot heal.15

The Norbys told me, “Disappointment comes to visit on occasion but is never allowed to stay.”24  That is a beautiful testimony born by one who was one the Lords errand and struck down anyways. May we always remember the promise of the one who promised to “wipe away all tears”.  THe Helaer of our souls, in His time and His way, will heal all your wounds. 32

I want Elder Anderson to have the last words: “No injustice, no persecution, no trial, no sadness, no heartache, no suffering, no wound—however deep, however wide, however painful—will be excluded from the comfort, peace, and lasting hope of Him whose open arms and whose wounded hands will welcome us back into His presence. At that day, the Apostle John testifies, the righteous “which [come] out of great tribulation”33 … before the throne of God.”

 

http://time.com/4707414/belgium-airport-terror-attack/

 

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Wounded

Gideon A Step by Step Journey

Image result for gideon

In the Book of Judges, we find the story of Gideon. At the time the “Isrealites did evil in the sight of the Lord.”( Judges 6:1) Thus, God left them to themselves and they were in trouble for seven years.

The children of Israel were surrounded by their enemies the Midianites. But after seven years God’s people began to “cry unto the Lord” (vrs. 6),  Gideon and his dad, Joash the Abi-ezrite,  are collecting wheat. An angel appeared unto them. He greets Gideon with this phrase “The Lord is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.”

Consider Gideon’s perspective, enemy Midianite armies all around him and most of their food destroyed and he considers himself “poor in Manasseh, and ..least in his fathers house. ” (vrs 15) Gideon could not believe he was mighty or was going to deliver Israel out of this bondage. Yet here is an angel telling him God wants him to lead his people.

Do you ever feel overwhelmed by callings, or tasks, or talk assigned to you?

I love how Elder Maxwell puts it, “God does not begin by asking us about our ability, but only our availability and if we then prove our dependability, he will increase our capability.”

When the Lord asks Gideon to go against his “personal Goliath” he gives him the needed experience to trust that it is possible. Gideon asks a sign and the angel tells him to go and prepare a sacrifice of goat and leavened cakes. When Gideon comes back the angel touched offering and it was consumed into flames. Gideon begins to fear because of his encounter with the angel but the Lord comforts him.

“Peace be unto thee; fear not; thou shalt not die.”

Now Gideon is ready to prove his dependability. His first instruction is to “throw down the alter of Baal and cut down the grove beside it.  This part of the story is interesting because it is his fathers and his fathers friends altar and grove. I have never had to destroy anything of my fathers but I can’t imagine this was an easy task. But wanting to be dependable, not lose his life Gideon decides to do it late at night. Gideon and ten servants destroys the grove and alter. He builds a new one to the Lord where he offers a sacrifice.

This next part of the story is touching. In the morning when everyone sees what occurred while they slept. They quickly discover the culprit. As the men rally to go and destroy Gideon, his dad has a change of heart. It would have shown great humility to accept this act from his son. When others wanted to destroy Gideon, his father defends him and says, “if he,(referring to Baal) be a god, let him plead for himself. because one hath cast down his alter.” In our language. If Baal was really a God then he can punish someone who desecrated his alter. It’s not always easy to be taught by our children. But I know often the Lord uses my daughters to call me to repent.

Then with this new found courage and strength he calls parts of Israel to come and fight with him. He ends up getting about 33,000 volunteers.

This next part Gideon is praying to God and I imagine it to sound something like this. God I know you have delivered our fathers from the Egyptians and that Moses crossed over the red sea on dry ground. I know I have seen an angel, and he burnt my offering miraculously. I know you preserved my life as I destroyed the alter and the grove. But I just want to be sure that I am doing this for the right reasons. Can you show my a sign that I am not off my rocker? If I put this fleece down on the ground could the fleece be wet and the ground around it dry? And he leaves it out all night. He is able to wring out a bowl full of water in the morning.

Then I can imagine as people keep pouring in and Gideon realizes he is responsible for thousands of lives, he kneels down again and says, “I know you answered me with the fleece last night and please don’t be mad but can you make the fleece dry and the ground wet? And the Lord did. When the Lord asks us participate in difficult tasks He wants us to have total confidence.

I know we aren’t supposed to ask for signs. But I think if you were responsible for 33,000 men you might want to be without any doubts of what the Lord wanted you to accomplish.

As Gideon is ready the Lord gives him a new name, Jerubbaal, which means warrior of the Lord. And he takes his army of 33,000 and begins to prepare.

Lord says to him, “Gideon we have a problem. You have too many people in your army. If I let them all fight they might think their strength won this battle. Or “lest Israel vaunt themselves against me , saying mine own hand hath saved me.”

The first thing to do is ask if anyone is scared. If they are let them return home. Now I have always looked at this lot with disgust. Why would you fear? Don’t they know who’s side they are fighting on? But I have since repented. The army was too big. It had to have  people go home. If their role was to make an army smaller than they were filling their destiny. Is their role any less grand? It is simply honestly admitting I am scared and don’t want to do this. Ten thousand honest people didn’t want to fight. I can’t say I would be fearless if called to battle.

We still have 22.000 and so Gideon tells them to drink from the stream. The solders that kneel down and cup the water in their hands remain. They hold onto their weapons and stay prepared. The ones that lap the water and put their heads down are told to return.

Sometimes I identify with this group. I was brave. I was ready to fight but the Lord didn’t need me. I was totally qualified but in the end God only wanted 300. It wasn’t my turn.

Which ever part of this story was the role I had to play doesn’t matter. The 300 who stayed were no more doing there part than the soldiers who returned home if they were scared. Often I feel only the 300 could be celebrated.. but then I forget the bigger picture… This is won for the glory of God. With everyone playing their part. God doesn’t care what part I play as long as I contribute. Whether my offerings is “mites” or millions, if it is my all … it is enough. To finish the Neil A Maxwell quote, “it is service, not status, that counts.”

The true hero of this story is God. Everyone else did their part however it needed to be done. I am trying to be more content with what the Lord has allotted unto me. Whatever your part may be, may your have the courage to do it. Remember Gideon doubts his own ability to accomplish God’s work. Enos and Moses both uttered phrases like “I am slow of speech and people hate me. Gideon’s says, “Are you sure it’s me saving Israel? My family is poor … and I am the least in my father’s house.” Often it’s the meekest who the Lord chooses. Perhaps because they can testify with certainty that it is accomplished only through the Lords power. No matter your calling, you can trust in the assurance of the Lord. “Surely I will be awith thee.” I hope in any role you serve you play your part as you were designed to do.

 

 

 

 

 

Gideon A Step by Step Journey

Sea Glass

20180817_204412This summer I was privileged to finally visit the beautiful shores of Nova Scotia. On this pleasant sunny day we were searching for sea glass. We had already googled the best beaches and knew the tide schedules. In the car ride out we planned what we would do with the hoards of sea glass we would collect.

As we excitedly entered the beach we had high hopes and big dreams. Lucy found a piece right away. This was going to be awesome. Optimism was high until the seconds turned into minuties and with the passing time our frustration grew as no sea glass was to be found. It appeared our hope was beginning to shatter.

I had whispered a silent prayer before the search but now as I had one daughter who had a treasure and the other was left absent I started to pray harder.

My first thought was I need more information. I googled how to find sea glass. There experts taught me to walk along the tide lines in a zig zag pattern. After sharing my knowledge, we were still empty handed.

I started to think about my prayer. Did I not have enough faith? Did I need to add more details to my prayer? Did I need to acquire more skills? Did I need to recruit others into my search? Was I too focused on sea glass and missing all the other treasures that the ocean was offering? Did I need to think differently about the situation and realize that under hotter temperatures this whole sandy beach was capable of becoming glass?

We found two locals, who gave us sea glass searching advice and also pointed us in the direction of a new beach. A few miles down the road we hoped held better promises.  This drive was significantly more somber. But as we found the beach we began our search again.

We searched. As we were searching I approached Lucy. I asked her if she could say a prayer for her sister that she could find some sea glass too. She agreed. I also asked her if Claire didn’t find any if she would be willing to give her piece to her sister. This comment was met with hostility. But she agreed any additional findings would go to her sister.

As I walked up to Claire, she was already frustrated and before I could get a word out she said something snarky.

I silently whispered that prayer, or plea of a mother. “Heavenly Father, I know it’s just sea glass. On a scale of importance it is small. But today it means everything. Will thou please let me have this one win.”

As I finished my prayer I soon found a piece. I didn’t want to cause a scene and so I quietly tucked it into my bucket.

Claire was losing patience with the process and she was beginning to through rocks into the ocean. Suddenly we started finding sea glass. Grandpa had settled on sitting in one spot and digging in the tide lines. His strategy was successful. Grandma and Lucy were finding glass too. Claire rejoined the search and was able to find her share of sea glass.

I whispered another prayer of thanks to a kind Heavenly Father.

Finally Jennifer and Walter, two locals came walking down the beach. True to the east coast reputation, they were friendly and talkative. Walter showed us how to troll the shore line. He taught us not to look for glass but to watch the shore and see what looks out of place. He said its a feeling more than sight. He showed us how to find black sea glass. It’s not until you hold it up to the sun that you can differentiate between a rock and black sea glass. Almost immediately grandpa found a piece. It was great having a Master teach us.

Then as we were about to part ways, Jennifer offered her small bucket full of sea glass to my girls. That day the Lord answered my prayers through a sweet stranger. I thank her for that offering. It meant everything to me that day.

As we got home and I looked at the haul we had collected. Thanks to our efforts and the generosity of those around us. I was so grateful. Grateful for more than just sea glass. Grateful that I could share this story with my daughters and my husband. Grateful that even in small matters of sea glass the Lord cares.

20180817_204335

I know Jesus is no respecter of persons. Whether your desires are a simple as sea glass or more serious; He listens. He who is aware of the birds in the air… or glass in the sea, He is capable to help. Trust Him and fear not… You are more valuable than glass or birds.

 

Sea Glass

Living Gratefully

photo of couple holding umbrella while kissing

Do you remember when your parents wanted to teach you an important lesson?

One time my dad sat me down and said, “Danielle, always remember if it seems to be good to be true it is!”

Now this advice has proven to be very helpful and quite wise.

What if I told you I had the secret to unlock a fuller happier healthier life. Brimming with  love, peace and joy! What if I could promise you results in just 21 days!

How much would it be worth? What would you be willing to pay? What would you be willing to do?

How many of you think I am lying?… sounds too good to be true?

Well let me pull out my magic wand… you do have to invest in this wand… but its affordable…

Search for it….*( Pull out pencil.)

 This tool is the first step into a better life. You might need a little paper too…

Did you know  daily recording life’s grateful moments can improve physical, mental social and emotional health.

I truly believe that I am here… (not just speaking to you) but here on earth living, learning and growing and trying to find true joy every day! And yet, often I find myself miserable, lonely, crying… with nothing to be grateful for.

But if we consider gratitude as only a list of things I receive I can miss the all important part of cultivating gratitude in all my circumstances.

An ecclesiastical leader, Dieter Uchtdorf said, “If we could set aside the bottle of bitterness and lift instead the goblet of  gratitude.” he promises “a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.”(April, 2014)

 

Do I believe that promise? Is there gratitude in abuse? Is there gratitude in divorce? Is there gratitude in suicide?  Do I really believe that I can push away a bottle whose bitter taste would destroy me and faithfully lift a goblet of gratitude.

It’s important to note, Uchtdorf states “Being grateful in times of distress does not mean that we are pleased with our circumstances.” Or do not take efforts to change them… but we admit,  I will steal a line from Sarah McLaughlin  in our ” sweet sadness a glorious madness, that brings me to my knees”  In this place… a quiet reflective meditative state I can find joy.

Sometimes when life’s bitter ironies happen to us, we think gratitude can’t exist. This is exactly what happened to me. When I was old enough to process events in my life, I was bitter. I couldn’t believe in a loving God, a Heavenly Father so absent in my suffering. So one day as a young girl I thought the only option I had left was to end my own life. Before I acted on it,  I knelt down and I asked God, “Can you love me? are you there?” That prayer was answered. I felt the purest love encompass me and I knew I would have the strength to get the healing I needed. It was not a one time healing. This just opened the gate to becoming restored.

  When we are invited to “ see gratitude as a disposition, a way of life that stands independent of our current situation, we may discover joy in the journey. We reflect on Uchtdorf’s  question : “How much of life do we miss by waiting to see the rainbow before being thankful for the rain?” So maybe when our lives feel dark and dreary, when mortality weighs us down, we can remember to give thanks… thanks that this moment won’t last forever. Thanks because our life isn’t full of sunshine and rainbows.  Thanks because we walked in the rain we will understand the beauty of an umbrella… and we can take our fellow sufferers and invite them under, teaching  them how rainbows only come at the end of a storm… reminding them there is hope.

The experiences we hate the most our often the ones that bind us together… that make us look at each other with more sympathy, love, and reach out and assist one another.  That add an element of compassion, perspective and beauty to enrich our lives as we assist others. 

So Toastmasters and guests, in  the next twenty one days, my challenge is to invite you daily to record moments of thankfulness.  Dr Robert Emmons decade of research suggests we will have greater creativity, stronger immune systems, increased resilience and happier fuller lives. That we may live in a spirit of thanksgiving.  I invite you to “lift the goblet of gratitude and “find a purifying drink of healing, peace, and understanding.” (Uchtdorf, April, 2014)

But if you don’t think this one small tool can change your life ( hold up the pencil) … and that this offer is just too good to be true… I invite you to try anyways…. I invite you to take 15 minutes for 21 days…That is 5 hours and 25 minutes in the next three weeks. Record your gratitude… just like it takes effort to strengthen and form physical muscles the same is true with cultivating an attitude of gratitude. I promise you that things will change… This offer seems too good to be true… well it is true.

Thoughts and feelings in this speech were prompted by a speech given by President Deider F Uchtdorf in General Conference 2014. For the full article copy and paste the link into your browser. 

https://www.lds.org/ensign/2014/05/sunday-morning-session/grateful-in-any-circumstances?lang=eng

Photo by Jennifer Murray on Pexels.com

 

 

 

 

 

Living Gratefully

My Tale to Tell

 

cinderella

This is me after my speech competition at the mall… doing retail therapy! No, it was a “courageous journey paved with a path of determination and grit”! I was incredibly vulnerable… out of my comfort zone… but I think I taught my girls about dedication and hard work!

My speech wont read as well.. but I want to post it… I have so much blood, sweat, and tears… lots of inspiration built into this speech… its a big parable for the truth of my life…

Sharing Cinders to Slippers and  Transform Someones Ever After… Danielle Low

(This part is done without a voice) “Honestly share your Cinderella story”

You heard right there was no sound… What happens when no one hears you?

I am learning the power and joy of becoming the author, editor,  and publisher of my life.

Contest Chair, Toastmasters, and fellow publishers.

Who is writing your story?

As children my sister, Jen, and I joined a crowd watching a magician … he walked NEAR us and said… “Now little boy… blow on my hand,”.. When he repeated the command to my horror Jen and I  realized he thought I was a boy. …I froze.. my sister blurted… “She’s a girl… Embarrassed the magician asked my name. I refused to speak… Rescuing both of us Jen explained…”I talk for her.”

I am a middle child.  (Then I pause….See? no one cares!) Born between two loud personalities, someone else was always telling my story.

I’ve been told when my mom asked what I wanted to become I replied Cinderella. (twirl)

My baby brother wanted to be a crane, not the bird the machine. He grew up to be a lawyer… Lawyer (hold up one hand)…. Cinderella (float one hand up) … I let you decide who made the right choice. Or we are all nuts… 

How do you write a fairytale?

Bibbidi bobbidi boo (walk over to the pumpkin and pull out your gold book) … if it were that easy we would have more authors

Which part of your life deserves a voice?

In my youth, I came across my dad’s teenage journal. I had just scratched the surface when I heard his footsteps. (drop the book) As he entered the room,   He grabbed his journal and bellowed, Did you read this? Based on his tone I knew to lie. So I did. I never did read it again. I wish he would have shared. 

Become a life author. Not to be world famous but to be famous in your world.  Use your narrative to benefit your entourage. Reveal the sparkly carriages while honoring humble pumpkin beginnings.

Share Gratefully, Share Fearlessly,  Simply Share!!!

Leaving 711, my daughter exclaimed, “Was that man famous? The cashier asked for his autograph! The cashier asked him to sign his visa receipt. She saw the magic in the mundane.

SHARE GRATEFULLY

Writing life’s magic moments can completely change future chapters! Recordings life’s events with gratitude does not mean we pretend but admit, life’s harshest flames are the necessary conditions to turn SAND to glass. And enduring extreme fiery trials molds Glass into custom slippers!

It won’t be a bibbidi bobbidi boo transformation but it will carry you past midnight.Your story will transform someone’s pumpkin into a golden coach moving them to better destinations.

Often like Cinderella, we are afraid to reveal our true selves. Never stopping long enough to reflect why we run from our dreams.

My dreams were motherhood and marriage… (not in that order) but I found my prince and my children (in that order) So where was my happily ever after?(shrug shoulders)  I began to edit, but not always honestly. Living one story and publishing another slowly erodes your soul!

Hide nothing! The beauty in any Cinderella story is not the triumphant ending but a courageous journey on a path paved with determination and grit. (It sounds so magicialy… )

Now I will Reveal the thrilling fairytale moments when I finally held my healthy newborn baby.

But I wont leave out when the slipper shattered. As I held my baby my mom had stage 3 ovarian cancer.

At that moment I just wanted to be held in her arms

 

SHARE FEARLESSLY

There are moments when we think we are perfectly dressed only to have our outer layers ripped to shreds… these moments that bring us to our knees sobbing.Publish these chapters too. Let your story be the fairy Godmother inspiring people to wipe their tears,  get ready for the ball. AND remind them EXTREME HEAT is essential to acquire custom

Remind them EXTREME HEAT is essential to acquire custom glass slippers…That is the real prize!. The prince and the children have a lot to say… Shoes… never talk back…or leave socks on the floor.. I’m still wearing the same size I did in high school!!!  It’s a dream come true!!!

In my book of life, I tried to rip out pages, and when they wouldn’t tear I glued them and pretended they didn’t exist.  Until I got to a dark place where I no longer wanted to exist. I falsely believed that if anyone read those pages their love wouldn’t exist. The first time I shared this story was around a campfire. My youth leader told me she had the same chapter in her book. I instantly felt a connection.

No one escapes suffering. We all have Cinderella stories.

If we honestly share all the pages we can comfort and even heal each other.

Who is writing your story?

Toastmasters. Authors, and Editors with new pathways before us … pick a path and  to publish your life

Have courage…..share the original script. O what dreams will come true!

 

(Say the first two words … and then let your voice trail off… Share your Cinderella … eyes become big… because you have no voice… and put your hand over your mouth and gasp!!! Back up)

SHARE YOUR STORY!!! (point to the contest chair)

Well, my speech competition journey is finished. I will not be moving to the next level… but I got hired as a teacher and a new chapter begins…

My Tale to Tell

Gratitude For Opportunities

Lately, I have been trying to write a speech for a competition that I entered. It has been a grueling but beautiful experience.

I am grateful to a loving God who blessed me with marvelous words, phrases, and ideas – but not too easily. I had to ask, plead, beg, cry, fast, pray, meditate, work, work and work, ask others for help, stop relying on others for help, make a plan and follow it, make a plan to do my speech but fulfill other roles, attend the temple with with what to say, revise, humbly take revision, acknowledge when others know better, have the courage to graciously decline a suggestion. Buy and write thank you cards to all who assisted, Thank God for the mind, the breath, the body, and the story that He gave me to share!!! Not forgetting the knowledge of seeing my life as the vehicle to share this message in a way that others could relate.

Gratitude To Family

It wouldn’t be right if I didn’t include my dreams of Motherhood and Marriage (not in that order) … my prince, sometimes who acts like my son… but that makes me his Queen! He too sacrificed, supported and contributed. He cleaned toilets, cooked and cleaned, entertained our daughters and has endured hearing this speech more times than any one person should!

My daughters, who I think were more motivated by money, without your help this speech may not be memorized. Claire I think had it memorized before I did and Lucy who can imitate and overexaggerate… my overexaggerated performance…!! It has been an adventure!

I thank,  Ralph C. Smedley, who in 1924 had an idea to start a club… He called it toastmasters. Thankful to him and his organzation which endured. For helping me find my voice and have a story to share… This Saturday in Calgary I will have the opportunity to share my speech! Any of your thoughts, prayers, good vibes, are appreciated! I will post the speech next Sunday! Wish me the best!

Gratitude For Opportunities

Remember Lot’s Wife

Image result for lots wifeIn our house, I offer a dollar for every scripture that my children memorize. Of course, they have found John 11:35 “Jesus wept.” But an equally short scripture and one that they have not found is the little gem found in the seventeenth chapter of Luke verse 32, where Jesus cautions, “Remember Lot’s wife.” What did the Savior mean in this intricate phrase?

It helps to take a minute to remember who is Lot and who was his wife?

If we go back to the days of Sodom and Gomorrah, the Lord was unpleased with His children who acted wickedly. Lot was told to take his family and leave the city because it would be destroyed. “Escape for thy life,” the Lord cautioned, “look not behind thee . . . ; escape to the mountain, lest thou be consumed” (Genesis 19:17).

Elder Holland states, “With less than immediate obedience and more than a little negotiation, Lot and his family ultimately did leave town, but just in the nick of time. The scriptures tell us what happened at daybreak the morning following their escape:

The Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; And he overthrew those cities. [Genesis 19:24–25]

Surely, surely, with the Lord’s counsel “look not behind thee” ringing clearly in her ears, Lot’s wife, the record says, “looked back,” and she was turned into a pillar of salt.”

Although there are many gospel lessons that could be taken from this story. I love the ideas and insights from Elder Holland about looking back instead of ahead.

I have fallen in love with yoga. The first time I took it a lady at the church offered free classes. I remember her saying, “There is no competition.” Well maybe this moment, I granted her…but in the real world… everything is… But as I kept coming back, I realized no competition is a perception. A thought that I believed and wasn’t real. It was my reality. There was no happiness and joy in that reality and so I changed it. I had to repeat the mantra many times… but now I believe it. Changing this idea makes me a better mother, friend, creator, and daughter.

Another truth I learned in Yoga was, Be Present. Do not regret what is gone… do not worry what will come… live right now. Be in this moment. In this moment you are enough and live gratefully now. Thanking yourself, your body and your God for this precious moment. I realized how much I lived in my past and future.

One purpose of recording history is to learn. George Santayana…is best known for saying, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” (Reason in Common Sense, vol. 1 of The Life of Reason [1905–1906]).

Every Remembrance Day we have a decreased number of vets present. This year as we made our way to the cenotaph my daughter was complaining. “Why do we have to go to this thing?” I stopped her mid walking and I said, “I am sorry that you have to take 40 minutes out of your day to remember those who gave up their lives for your freedom to attend.” I said it harsher than I meant… and I apologized.  Lest We Forget… never rang truer. We remember the past to not make the same mistakes. But we live now and hope for great futures. When past lessons are learned and applied to new living our potential for joy can only increase.

With Lot’s wife and with myself it isn’t just looking back that is the problem. It is the false idea of thinking the past holds anything better than living now or the future can bring.

Elder Holland states, “So it isn’t just that she looked back; she looked back longingly. In short, her attachment to the past outweighed her confidence in the future. That, apparently, was at least part of her sin.”

Are you ever tempted to think your best moments are gone. Your real beauty was years ago? The joy that was found years ago will never be matched. Don’t limit God. If you know that He has asked you to leave… whatever place, situation, or idea trust that He wants you to have a fulness of joy. It might mean making changes… but don’t look back… trust that the best is yet to be!

This is a link to Jeffery R Holland ‘s talk that I quoted and based many of my thoughts on for this article.

https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/jeffrey-r-holland_cast-not-away-therefore-your-confidence/

 

 

Remember Lot’s Wife