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Archive for August, 2014

Love

Earlier this year there was a Facebook post that asked “What do you want to teach your children the most?” I knew my answer before I even finished reading.  I want them to know, to believe, to understand that I will always love them, no matter what. I wish the power of love from me was enough to provide my kids with a kind of bubble wrap that would guarantee they would never deal with trials, pain and Hard Things.  I don’t even know that my love really makes any kind of difference in the big scheme of things.  It doesn’t make math tests easier, school drama go away, or general teenager life change much.  I’m still that weird Mom who wants to meet friends and get to know them, but they can usually count on me for a ride — best way of getting to know them, they’re trapped! It’s easy to love friends, family, and especially your children.

Since my last post about the worth of souls being great I’ve been wondering, if I’m taking on the challenge to see the worth in the souls of those around me, how exactly am I suppose to do that?  I’m great at thinking of good ideas without coming up with a way to accomplish the goal, but this time I think I’ve found my answer in John 13:4 where it says a new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. Okay, again it’s easy to love friends and family, responding to their needs and spending time with them laughing, bonding, working.  Let’s not forget as I have loved you.  Christ loves each one of us, individually not collectively.  He showed that love through kindness and service and ultimately the greatest service that only He could provide in Gethsemane. I’ve been on the receiving end of some amazing service the past several years, and each one makes me choke up a little and realize that I am loved and have friends who care about me.  I could spend a lifetime paying it forward, but this isn’t a budget where a ledger is kept requiring a zero balance when all is said and done, fortunately.

I’ve written before of those who see the worth of souls, who do the things that many others can’t, who help people look at themselves and recognize the worth there.  These aren’t random theoretical people, they have names, families, trials of their own but when I think of their willingness to serve others and to jump in and help people out I can’t imagine that willingness to serve, often times from people that didn’t initially know that is what I imagine loving one another with a Christ like love is and I am grateful for their example and especially their influence in my family’s life. They serve those who need it, not those who they deem worthy and they serve without hesitation or judgement of one’s situation.  If one gets to pick their legacy, I want love to be mine–the action sort of love, not the emotion of romance novels.

~H

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This has been weighing on my mind lately, partially from going to Girl’s Camp with the Young Women, talking to others who either have or are struggling and thinking back myself on my Hard Things.  We often hear “…the worth of souls is great in the sight of God” (D&C 18:10) and I’ve spent much of my life applying that to most people, but not all.  Those who make choices with disastrous consequences are easy to write off, discuss in break rooms in gory detail what should happen to them because of their choices.  It’s easy to side with the victims and their families that are sometimes harmed by the situation.  From preschool we are taught to despise the villain, cheer for the hero, and have sympathy for the victim.  End of story time.

The scripture doesn’t qualify which souls are of worth though.  Not the worth of souls who attend church weekly is great in the sight of God, not the worth of souls who smile at strangers, not the worth of souls that humanity deems worthy.  the worth of souls.  Period.  No qualifications necessary to be worthy.  The teenager going through bullying at school, those doing the bullying, the mother trying her hardest to do her best, as well as the mother who has lost her child to protective services because of her choices.  It extends even beyond that, to individuals generally considered “evil” by most of the world.

I’ve decided that the worth of souls is great to me too.  It’s not always easy to see, depending on circumstances and it’s often hard to see when looking at the tired face looking back at the mirror thinking of everything that was done less than perfect.  If we could look beyond the baggy eyes, past the tired that made it so Cheerios were served for dinner, and see into our soul and the greatness within I think our spirits would be lifted.  I like the song “You Are More” from Tenth Avenue North and the chorus resonates with me.

You are more than the choices that you’ve made,
You are more than the sum of your past mistakes,
You are more than the problems you create

I am more. You are more.  The stranger on the street that just yelled at you is more. More than you can imagine, more than today’s troubles seem (even when it’s one of “those” days when it feels like you can barely breath.  I am of great worth just as each of us is.  Please, if you can’t see it in yourself find someone to help you find it because I promise you are more and I know it’s hard to see.  I’ve been where I can’t imagine more let alone see it.  My vision began and ended with less, but it got better.  Amazing people were there to help me through Hard Things, there are people out there who believe in you no matter what.  I’ve met them, talked with them, and know that to them the worth of souls is great too, and they spend their time and efforts helping others believe in themselves.  

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Progress

Most of the time I’m “ok” back wise. I can’t sit for long, cough, or laugh without pain. I just told my Mom I’d raster die a thousand deaths than sneeze again. In the mornings I feel like I’m 90 I have no idea how girls camp happened. 

I hate mornings more than usual because every move has to be planned and calculated, today I’m a little extra sore than normal so I made a progress list. I can now use the bathroom upstairs where I use to have to go downstairs so I had the counter to help me lower myself down. I don’t sleep through the night, but I haven’t been up out of bed pacing away the pain since the week of camp. By early afternoon I feel mostly normal, as long as I don’t have to sit. 
How much of our spiritual progress is similar? Small, perhaps barely noticeable steps of strength and improvement when all we want is things to be perfect, now, not later. 
I have to hobble around and get the front room presentable, visiting teachers are coming by and it’s the dreaded Wednesday with the addition of weed pulling at Gromps’ while the ground is soft from the rain we’ve received. 
~H

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Have You Done Any Good?

I’m sitting here on the first day of school that I don’t have to be at the hospital thinking back over the summer and to yesterday. Friends and acquaintances would ask “how are you doing?” and it’s a hard question to answer. How is my back?  Well, I’m pacing the halls instead of sitting in class and it hurts worse than anything I’ve experienced — only not a ten because tens should be saved. How are the kids?  Again, a complicated answer leading into the struggle we’ve had getting him registered at all and we’re there but with Spanish instead of German, no Seminary etc. and no I’m not ready for them to go back. Haven’t bought — anything and still so many things to do (Toquerville Falls!)

For the ones who know me best who “how are you?” means how am I doing, I’m great. A smile has not only found my face but my heart. Bad days are few and even then I know at the end I have someone special who will likely ride in to town to make me forget all about my bad day. 
I’m sitting here thinking of my Hard Things days when I didn’t want morning to come because that meant more Hard Things. I didn’t get here alone, I prayed on hard days, asked for a Priesthood blessing on the impossible days and have cried on shoulders for what felt like forever.   It seems like it’s my turn to pay it back with not much I can actually do, but there should be a way I can be an answer to someone’s prayer, right?
I will try to call Mary in a bit, it’s not much but it’s something, something Bonnie would have already done. Oh how I wish I could have one last talk with her to let her know that I’m going to be okay. That last conversation she wouldn’t talk about anything but hoping I’d be okay. Maybe this post is for her?  I doubt she has much time in heaven to read blog posts, but just in case, Bonnie I am doing great — your friendship is a huge part of that. I love you and miss you. Don’t worry I will go call Mary right now. 
Sunflower from the spilled bird seed

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I don’t know why I enjoy this as much as I do, but I love TOU stuff.  Maybe because the last two years I’ve just had to walk down the street to enjoy it, maybe because this year the older two played in the band for it?  Maybe because it’s just really cool?  Anyways, picture overload time.

Kids at the band, Michael had a blast and Charlet thought it was pretty cool to be so close to the riders being in the front row.  She was less excited about the following photo opportunity though.

The beautiful red-head is one of Charlet’s friends, I got a better picture of her than I did Charlet.  Oh well, they both impressed me at Girls Camp…

Bazilion and three rider pictures at the finish going down 200 South.  It’s crazy to me how fast and how close they ride to each other.  I keep waiting for some kind of human dominoes to start but it hasn’t yet.  I took pictures each lap around and I don’t know which ones are which.  They are riders on bikes, that’s good enough for me.

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Beginning of last week I could have easily broken into tears. I am the assistant camp director. You know, the one who just does stuff and knows that the totally awesome real camp director (aka Alisha) has all the i’s dotted and t’s crossed. Turns out she landed a job where she’s going to be an awesome post-partum RN to some lucky Momma’s in Vegas and her job starts the week before camp. 

I was sad to lose a friend, especially before camp, but I’ve done Hard Things before, right?  So I go about list making, from groceries to delegating to…wait, my back went out!  Did I mention I’m also the camp nurse and can barely move?  I couldn’t imagine how, but I knew I needed to be at camp (partly because our girls couldn’t go without any leaders) and partly because it just felt right that I was there.  I’ve done Hard Things before–I have “Hard Things” down. 
All of this boiled down to an overwhelmed exhausted hurting girl last Monday. My plan to not haul the trailer failed, then we had issues with lights, then, then, then…I wanted to sit and cry but didn’t have time and doubted my ability to get back up if I did. So I changed my perspective and looked at it like Christmas Eve. Nothing is ever completely done, no matter how much or little you’ve done but December 25 comes along and some kind of magic takes over. Family, the money tree, and Christmas magic everywhere. I said a little prayer that there was such a thig as Girls Camp magic and believed in it with my whole being. 
Monday afternoon looked a little like this. 
See my family ever so carefully packing the trailer?  Remember that trailer…
We load up everyone’s pillows, sleeping bags, bedding, grub box in The Beast, camp “stuff” and YCL’s, Jordon’s and mine totes. Food, crafts, last minute inside craft things, mosquito netting and a tent/cot just in case these bunks and my back didn’t get along. Really, who wouldn’t love sleeping there?
Off we go (photo courtesy of Jordon) with me still believing in Girls Camp magic. In all the years I’ve been at camp for some reason or another I’ve never been in charge. You can’t tell but it’s pouring in this picture — please let there be magic. 

We go happily on our way, girls talking about anything and everything. We reach camp (still raining) and start up a steep hill and the trailer is open as in stuff falling out open. Without me knowing. Stuff like random ingredients, the spare tire, 1/2 of the craft stuff, ranch dressing, the list goes on and the door has been open a while Camp Magic? pshaw!

Guess what? Camp Magic does exist. With the exception of the spare tire nothing vital was lost and apparently I’m not suppose to feel bad about the tire. We made due, ward lunches were worth the time and energy, the YCL’s absolutely shined as examples to the younger girls and had patience I’ve never seen from 16-17 year old girls before. Size wise we were teeny and were blown away at most of the games but if challenge points were awarded for work done we’d have won. While finishing up camp our tiny ward was the one to send girls to help clean up the amphitheater, kitchen, and pavilion.  In work ethic, we shined.
There is also an amazing spirit at Girls Camp.  I sit and reflect on what has gotten me through so many of my Hard Things and it comes back to Girls Camp and Seminary — and that mustard seed of faith. I wish every parent of our girls who ever wondered if they were doing anything right ( who doesn’t at times?) could experience Girls Camp. Your girls testimonies are strong, their character amazing, their trials are many and just like clean up and prep duties they are shouldering them well. 
Stress, freak outs, lost tires, and worries aside I’d go again in a heart beat. I love our little Young Women’s group, their faith, their honest, their humor, their snipe hunting abilities and willingness to get bitten just to show the younger girls what a snipe is. I also learned to se the humor in hashtags instead of just being annoyed. 
Be proud of our youth, they are amazing and yes Camp Magic exists. 

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