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Monday, July 25, 2011

Forever and Always

Today is mine and Dean’s 42nd wedding anniversary.  Wow! 42 years.  When I was younger I thought I would be dead before I reached this point.  To my surprise I’m still here!
We were married on July 25, 1969 in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints temple in St. George Utah.

St. George Utah Mormon Temple

I remember how far it seemed to be to drive there.  Now it seems like nothing.
My wedding day was memorable in a lot of ways.  I lived in Henderson Nevada with my parents until I married Dean.  I spent the night before our wedding with Dean’s family so that he wouldn’t have to get up so early and drive to Henderson to get me.  He spent the night at our apartment.  I didn’t sleep much that night.  Evidently Dean didn’t either.  He had a few last minute things to do, one of which was to wash our car. So he didn’t get to bed until early morning, maybe 1:00. He had his alarm set to get up at 4:00 am.  We were planning on leaving around 5:00 am to head to Utah. Nothing has changed much in the sleep department over the last 42 years.  Dean still puts sleep off doing other things.
Dean had planned on getting up and picking me up at 5:00.  However 5:00 came and went and no Dean.  So we went to the apartment.  He was still asleep.  We had to knock on the door and windows to wake him up.  He was ready in record time. Well, almost ready.  He was dressed.  However, he needed to put his tie on and, if my memory serves me correctly, he needed to do up his sleeves.  That day I learned something more about Dean.  He was, and still is, a multi-tasker when it comes to driving a car.
Well I was thinking he could do those two things, tie his tie and do up his sleeves, when we got to St. George.  Just a side note, this was pre-freeway, so we had to go over what we called Utah Hill. It was a narrow two lane road that wound around the hill or small mountain. So instead of waiting to take care of his last minute dressing needs, he chose to do them while he was driving.  I will never forget that day. He was driving the car with his knee, tying his tie and doing up his sleeves.  All the while, I’m wanting to reach over and drive for him. Ah, the memories.
As I’m sure many new brides do, I’ve forgotten a lot about that day. 42 years is a long time to try and remember details and if I were good at keeping a journal then the details would be easier. I do remember the feeling I had when we held hands as we knelt at the altar. We were married for time and eternity. What a wonderful feeling that was!
Now 5 children, 9 grandchildren, a lot of laughter and tears and 42 years later here we are.  Still married and loving it.  We’ve definitely had our joy and our sorrows, moments to rejoice and moments to cry. But from the first time I met Dean I knew he was the one that I was meant to be with for eternity.
Our bodies and minds are getting older along with all the aches and pains.  But our spirits are eternal.  And someday when we are resurrected our bodies will be also.
I’m grateful for the knowledge that we can be together with our family forever. We’ve had to work at this marriage, sometimes more than others.  But it has been worth it. I appreciate all that Dean has done for me and given me and all that he still does.  I know he loves me and that means the world to me, to have the knowledge of that love.  Through our trials and challenges (opportunities), when I stopped and remembered that love, I could keep going.
Thank you, dear Dean, for all your love.  I will love you eternally and thank the Lord every day for you.

Friday, July 22, 2011

How Do You Handle Adversity?

You may never look at a cup of coffee the same way again!

A young woman told her mother how difficult things were for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and felt like giving up.

Her mother took her to the kitchen and filled three pots with water. Soon the water started boiling. In the first pot, she placed carrots.

 In the second, she put eggs.

And in the third, she placed coffee beans.

She let them sit and boil.

In about twenty minutes, she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them on a plate. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a mug. Turning to her daughter, she asked, "What do you see?" "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," her daughter replied. Her mother handed her some carrots. They were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed that the egg was now hard boiled. Then the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma.

Then the daughter asked, "What does all this mean?" Her mother said that each of these had faced the same adversity --boiling water. But each reacted differently. "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength? Am I the egg that starts with an open heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a break-up, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water -- the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavor. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?

-- from: Dr. Rob Gilbert & Joe DePalma

Monday, July 18, 2011

Choices We Make

My posts have indicated that I have had a few challenges I have gone through in the last couple of years.  I know that choices that we make bring on life's challenges and opportunities. 

Fixing broken things in our lives is not always easy. Sometimes the hardest part about the whole thing is me.  Me, believing in myself, getting past things that have happened. Me, accepting myself no matter what I’ve done and realizing that I can jump the hurdles but that some of them take more times than others.

In the book, Broken Things To Mend, Orson F. Whitney, who served in the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints tells the following.  This is an experience from his mission that he served as a young man.

“One night I dreamed . . . that I was in the Garden of Gethsemane, a witness of the Savior’s agony . . . . I stood behind a tree in the foreground. . . . Jesus, with Peter, James, and John, came through a little wicket gate at my right. Leaving the three Apostles there, after telling them to kneel and pray, He passed over to the right side, where He also knelt and prayed. . . : ‘Oh my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will but as Thou wilt.’

“As He prayed the tears streamed down His face, which was [turned] toward me. I was so moved at the sight that I wept also, out of pure sympathy with His great sorrow.  My whole heart went out to Him.  I loved Him with all my soul and longed to be with Him as I longed for nothing else.

“Presently He arose and walked to where those Apostles were kneeling—fast asleep! He shook them gently, awoke them and in a tone of tender reproach, untinctured by the least show of anger or scolding, asked them if they could not watch with Him one hour. . . .”

I love the Savior with all my heart.  I need to learn to mirror his example. If I can do that I will have a chance of overcoming my weaknesses and kick Satan out of my life.

My life is blessed beyond my capability to understand. I am so grateful for my life and my family. It is so fun to get together with my children and grandchildren. They are so full of life and so much fun. And yet Satan still works hard on discouraging me.  That is when I count the many blessings I have.  Yes life is full of challenges for us all.  But we must learn to handle these challenges and view them for what they are. I am convinced that Satan’s biggest and most successful tool is discouragement.

I found the following from a Pastor Rick Warren online and felt it was one of the greatest things I’ve read regarding discouragement.  I hope you get something from this.

"There's a fascinating story in the Bible about how a guy named Nehemiah mobilized the residents of Jerusalem to build a wall around the entire city. Half way through the project, the citizens became discouraged and wanted to give up . . .
Here's what Nehemiah taught about defeating discouragement (Nehemiah 4):
If you need a break -- take one! You'll be more effective when you return to work. If you're burning the candle at both ends, you're not as bright as you think!
Discouragement doesn't necessarily mean you are doing the wrong thing. It may just be that you are doing the right thing in the wrong way. Try a new approach. Shake things up a little.
Just ask Him. He can give you new energy. There’s incredible motivating power in faith.
Fight back! Discouragement is a choice. If you feel discouraged, it's because youve chosen to feel that way. No one is forcing you to feel bad. Hang on! Do what's right in spite of your feelings. No feeling lasts forever."

Saturday, July 9, 2011

I Want My Life to Be as Clean as Earth Right After Rain

I loved the fact that we got some badly needed and much appreciated rain today.  And the sky was beautiful afterwards.  We even had a double rainbow!!

I was able to get a few wonderful pictures, even if I say so myself.  It makes me realize how much I love what my Heavenly Father has given me.  The skies were wonderful and I felt a little closer to heaven this evening. These are my favorite pictures.

I'm reminded of a song the primary children sing.

"I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.

I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.

I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again."

Thursday, July 7, 2011

My Favorite Places

Dean and I took a road trip to probably my favorite place in the world, New Harmony Utah, for the 4th of July weekend. New Harmony is my home town. It is a small little town that is nestled at the base of Pine Valley Mountain between St. George and Cedar City. In my opinion there is nothing like this little town.  My parents kept their house in New Harmony even when we moved to Henderson in 1954.  We would take a trip there as often as we could. Even though my parents lived in Henderson Nevada for over 30 years, my dad's heart was always in New Harmony.  So when he retired, they added on and remodeled the New Harmony house, sold their home in Henderson and moved back to good old New Harmony. They both passed away in 2001.  My sisters, brothers and I kept the home. It's hard to describe the peacefulness that we experience when we go there.

This is the road into New Harmony.  You can't see the town from the freeway.

As you drive in you pass a few homes.  This is one of the nicer homes.

And the deer enjoy New Harmony too.  This is across the street from our home. I didn't hold the camera very still so hopefully this won't give you a headache. I'm not sure how this video will post.  This one only lasts about 21 seconds and you may have to look hard to see the deer.

A view of Pine Valley Mountain from our front yard.

Spending the 4th of July in New Harmony has become a tradition for my sisters and I.  Our brother Kenny and his wife and girls usually are there too. 

These are my cute little nieces, McKenna, Camille and Ella.  Here is a better picture of Ella.

There is always a cute little parade that lasts all of 10 minutes at the longest.  It goes right in front of our house.  We always make sure we are seated outside waiting with the whole town so we can see the parade. 

I actually got a video of the parade but it is too long to post here, even if it was less than 8 minutes long.

I am so grateful for this little bit of heaven on earth.  And another of my favorite places is the country in which I live.  I am especially grateful that we can enjoy the freedoms we do. There isn't any other country like it. I don't think any other country has so many different kinds of people from all walks of life co-exist together. We may not agree on the politics of the country but I think we all agree that we enjoy our freedoms. I am so thankful for the men and women who serve, have served and will serve to protect our rights and freedoms.

To end I am posting the lyric to the song Lee Greenwood sings, "Proud to Be an American".  It says it all.

If tomorrow all the things were gone,
I’d worked for all my life.
And I had to start again,
with just my children and my wife.
I’d thank my lucky stars,
to be livin here today.
‘ Cause the flag still stands for freedom,
and they can’t take that away.

And I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

From the lakes of Minnesota,
to the hills of Tennessee.
Across the plains of Texas,
From sea to shining sea.
From Detroit down to Houston,
and New York to L.A.
Well there's pride in every American heart,
and its time we stand and say.

That I’m proud to be an American,
where at least I know I’m free.
And I wont forget the men who died,
who gave that right to me.
And I gladly stand up,
next to you and defend her still today.
‘ Cause there ain’t no doubt I love this land,
God bless the USA.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Today I Will Make a Difference

My husband sent the following in an email to me.  I loved it and so I've decided to use it as a post.  We are heading to New Harmony Utah for the 4th of July weekend.  I will post about that later.

"Today I will make a difference. I will begin by controlling my thoughts. A person is the product of his thoughts. I want to be happy and hopeful. Therefore, I will have thoughts that are happy and hopeful. I refuse to be victimized by my circumstances. I will not let petty inconveniences such as stoplights, long lines, and traffic jams be my masters. I will avoid negativism and gossip. Optimism will be my companion, and victory will be my hallmark. Today I will make a difference.

I will be grateful for the twenty-four hours that are before me. Time is a precious commodity. I refuse to allow what little time I have to be contaminated by self-pity, anxiety, or boredom. I will face this day with the joy of a child and the courage of a giant. I will drink each minute as though it is my last. When tomorrow comes, today will be gone forever. While it is here, I will use it for loving and giving. Today I will make a difference.

I will not let past failures haunt me. Even though my life is scarred with mistakes, I refuse to rummage through my trash heap of failures. I will admit them. I will correct them. I will press on. Victoriously. No failure is fatal. It's OK to stumble...I will get up. It's OK to fail...I will rise again. Today I will make a difference.

I will spend time with those I love. My spouse, my children, my family. A man can own the world but be poor for the lack of love. A man can own nothing and yet be wealthy in relationships. Today I will spend at least five minutes with the significant people in my world. Five quality minutes of talking or hugging or thanking or listening. Five undiluted minutes with my mate, children, and friends.Today I will make a difference."

Max Lucado
From "On The Anvil"