Thursday, October 8, 2015

Spiritual Mud Cookies

Recently I viewed a video.  It made me sick.  For generations poor Haitians have been making, serving, selling, and eating Mud Cookies.  

This is what they eat to survive.  They work for days to mix the mud batter, carefully spoon every drop on to these sheets.  They purchase the dirt to make the cookies.  Sometimes they even have to go in to debt to buy it.  If it rains they could loose their investment.  When the cookies have baked in the sun they bag them and sell them.  I see images of women and children eating them.  They grimace.  There is little to no nutritional value in the cookies.  The mothers realize this, but they say, at least it is something to fill their hungry stomachs.  It makes them sick.

 I feel so guilty.  We have all of the food we could want.  We waste time during the day reading, watching movies, or checking our social media.  We sweep our warm clean floors and complain if ants or flies happen to invade.  We have every convenience at our disposal.  I can push a button to wash clothes and dishes.  I turn a handle to get hot or cold water.  I can walk or drive to a fully stocked grocery store.  If for some reason I couldn't afford any of these conveniences I would be able to find assistance to help provide for my families needs.

I was discussing this with my husband the other night.  I was telling him how blessed we are.  I just felt like I needed to do more than I am doing.  What is the purpose of my life.  I don't think Heavenly Father sent me to this earth to keep house.  I want to go to Haiti and teach those women how to never make another mud cookie, ever again.  I want to go to Africa and dig wells.  I want to go to India and teach about how aids is spread.  I want to go to Russia and lift spirits and hold orphaned babies.  I want to go to South Korea and save the abandoned children.  I want to got to Ethiopia and  feed the people.  I want to go to Syria and encourage.  I want to have a meaningful life.

My sweet husband in a moment of inspiration said, "We live here and there are people all around us who have been eating spiritual mud cookies for generations.  It is up to us to teach them what is better."  I knew that was right.  He was absolutely right.  We know the gospel of Jesus Christ.  We have the ability to open our mouths and share it with everyone that will listen.  We have the scriptures.  We can teach others how to feast spiritually.  This is my purpose.  This is why I get to live with all of these conveniences.  So that I can share Christs message of hope and love with all of those searching.

In the end, Gods work and his glory is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.  Our work should be to point others to Christ.  We can only do that if we are lights shining for him.
  This morning as I was cleaning I was thinking of my husband and I's discussion and I realized that sometimes I eat spiritual dirt cookies.  Just today I followed a link of gossip on my news-feed.  It led me through a waste land of mud slinging.  The whole time I was grimacing.  It made me sick.  Finally I pulled myself away.  I had partaken of a spiritual mud cookie.  Knowing there was no spiritual nutritional value, and with a mound of other spiritual food around me, I had chosen the mud.

Recognizing it for what it is might help me to leave it and opt for a spiritual feast in the future.  The Savior has asked us to come to him for he is the living water, he is the bread of life.  I in turn invite all to "Come unto Christ."  Through him you will find everlasting happiness.

Friday, August 21, 2015

The internet

I use the internet often.  I use it as a tool of my daily life.  I check in on friends.  I listen to music.  I work on finding my ancestors and learning their stories.  I journal.  I send messages to those I am praying for.  I look up how to make stuff.  I look up symptoms to see how sick my kids really are.  But I am really starting to get sick of one thing.  I hate the public shaming on the internet.  We tell our kids not to bully, and then we post pictures of people that we think don't look good enough to be seen in public. And we laugh!  At their clothing or their face.  We laugh at a child of God.  We give no thought to their feelings.  To the fact that they may see their picture associated with some terrible joke.  Why?   Is this what God would have us do?  What about our Savior that says "Feed my sheep" This is not feeding.  It is slaughtering.

We comment about people we do or don't know and the decisions we don't think they should make.  We profess to believe things, but do we actually do what we profess?  As Mormons we state, "We claim the privilege to worship all mighty God, We allow all men the same privilege to worship HOW, WHERE, or WHAT THEY MAY.  I've seen friends call for taking away another's rights in the name of liberty or religion.  What right do we have to do that?   None.
Why do Muslim women choose to wear veils?
We as Americans profess to believe in freedom.  Our Rights.  The rights that were written into our constitution.  The “unalienable rights” explicitly protected by the Bill of Rights include, but are not limited to, the rights of free speech and religion, self-determination with regard to one’s own property, the right to be secure in one’s own property,  protection from cruel and unusual punishment, and so forth.   The Romans and the Jewish leaders took those freedoms from our Savior.  He forgave them of course, because he is perfect.   He will also forgive us for our imperfections.

The reason for this post is today was that it was a sad day for me.  A family was tragically dragged through the mud after discovering infidelity and pornography addictions among their family members.  The wife can't privately mourn for her husband, her innocence or her future.  There is no where for her to hide while she walks through her pain.  This family is known especially in the USA.  There is no where that they could move to get away from the pain and anguish of their situation.

I pray for the hearts of our generation.  Please Father don't let our hearts fail us.  Please help us to remember to count our blessings not our trials.  Please help us to remember to give grace to those around us.  It is not up to us judge others.  That judgement is for Thee, the all knowing, loving, giving God and Father.  I worry about those of my friends who seem to  be caught in a whirl wind, grasping for something substantial to hold on to as they struggle to raise their families just like the rest of us.  I pray that they will find light.  Something of Thy teachings.  Something worth finding.  I pray that we can teach goodness.  I pray that we can show grace and understanding.  Father let us be the shoulder to cry on not the arm throwing garbage.  Let us wipe tears not cause them.  I know that Thow has sent thy son to bare these burdens.  Please help us teach of Thy divinity,  please keep us from turning others away from Thee and Thy Son.

Friday, August 7, 2015

The Lord Giveth and The Lord Taketh Away BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD

If you want to compare notes on trials and hardships, I would say I have had a pretty stinking rough couple of years.  If you want to compare blessings and understanding, compassion and grace, I would have to say I have had a pretty stinking blessed couple of years.
Newly Weds, What would I tell that me now? Hunker down the Saviors at the Helm

In January of 2013 my world as I knew it with health, job security, insurance, independence, naivety, trust, certainty, goals, dreams, plans, and doe-eyed youth came quickly and painfully crashing down around me.  But like the pioneer stock I come from I tried to go forward with faith, prompting this post.  I remember later having a conversation with my brother in law. (Life obviously hadn't gone quite as lovely as I thought it would)  I commented how lucky I thought the martyrs of the church were.  They could profess their belief in Christ and die for the cause.  He quickly said, "Some are called to die in the name of Christ, but you are called to live in his name."  So there you have it I was stuck with all of the pain and anguish of loss.  I thought.
Four Kids, Great Job, Post Marathon, What would I tell that me now? Trials to come, the Lord will never leave you.

I remember one day when I really couldn't take it anymore and I hit my knees. I didn't know what else to do. I poured out my soul to Father and he showed me something I had been missing.  I had been missing the listening ear of an all compassionate all knowing Father. All of my prayers before had been, "Thanks for all of my blessings help me to be good, Amen"  This prayer looked light, "Oh Father I can't do this anymore, I am inadequate and hopelessly flawed and I am not gonna make it."   He basically told me, none of that matters, but I love you.  I felt such relief.  I had to have similar prayers many more times during that year.
5 kids, No Job, What would I tell that me now?  He loves you Perfectly

Almost a year later we became a little more independent.  We were starting over.  One day we had crazy hit the fan again.  My anxiety started to rise.  I was getting light headed.  I didn't see a light at the end of the tunnel.  I didn't know how we would make it.  I couldn't breath.  I was having a panic attack.  I prayed. "Oh Father, I don't know what to do but I can't handle this. We are inadequate and we aren't going to make it on our own"  Nothing changed in my circumstances.  Instantly after that prayer my heart stopped racing, I could see straight, I did not feel sick to my stomach, and I knew the Lord was at the helm captaining my ship.

We moved again.  This time completely on our own two feet.  Real Real life started to sink in.  We had seen the Lord bless us too many times for us to think he was going to abandon us now.  We couldn't be fooled by not enough money in the bank and an unexpected bill come in any more.  We had seen the blessings of tithing too many times!  The Lord's math doesn't work like our math.  2+2 does not equal 4 when the Lord is the mathematician.   We had gone from $110,00 a year to less than $40,000 for our family of 8 and we were making it with the help of the Lord.  We had learned patience.
rental, panic attack, no money, 6 kids,  What would I tell that me now? More to come, through Him you will make it.

Then the heat got turned up again.  I was starting to feel pretty comfortable in our money trials.  Time for a new trial.  I had miscarriages before.  5 of them.  They were all early in the pregnancies (6-8 weeks).  It was a struggle but I knew if I made it past 8 weeks I would be fine.  Until I wasn't.  11 weeks into a pregnancy in February of 2015 I miscarried.  I was devastated.  It took me a little over a month to recover emotionally.  What did the trick?  I was listening to a Christian radio station and I can't remember what they said, but I can remember that it reminded me of a talk I had heard in church.  A woman had experienced a tragic death in her family.  She walked around in pain and anguish (how I felt) receiving comfort from others and the spirit, but never recovering.  Until one day she prayed for healing.  So, that is what I did.  I prayed for Christ to heal me.  He did.  Immediately.  I was whole again.  I could move on.

In April we became pregnant again.  I started spotting in July, but then it stopped.  I woke up on August 5th 2015 it wasn't spotting anymore.  It was a miscarriage.  I was 1 day short of 18 weeks. I prayed, "Oh Father I can't do this again."  A thought went through my head.  "The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Blessed be the name of the Lord."  I knew it was supposed to bring comfort.  The Lord that I trusted as captain of my ship had taken away.  So I was going to bless his name.  I went forward with faith.  If that's what I am supposed to do, that is what I will do.
Now me, Today, unedited, no makeup raw broken/healed me. With God All Things Are Possible.

Over the last couple days I have thought more about that scripture, A LOT.  The Lord giveth...what?  He gives us opportunities to grow.  He gives us Life.  He gives us Blessings.  He gives us the Atonement.  He gives us Commandments.  He gives us Covenants.  He gives us Eternal Families.  He gives us Grace.  What does the Lord take away?  Not my Baby.  He took away sorrow.  He took away grief.  He took away my sins.  He took away the finality of death.  He took away pain.  BLESSED BE THE NAME OF THE LORD.  Through God's Grace, through the Atonement of Christ I am alive.  Without Him I am nothing.  With him I am saved, sustained, comforted, carried, blessed.  Yep, blessed. I would have to say I have had a pretty Stinking Blessed couple of years.  

Sunday, March 22, 2015

How to title pain?

almost 2 months ago I experienced terrible pain and loss. a miscarriage.  It was my 6th.  I was 11 weeks along. I cried. I wept.  I sorrowed.  I longed.  I felt empty.  I experienced suffering.  It was incomparable to anything I had ever gone through.  I wanted to hold a baby.  Several of my sisters were having babies.  my baby was going to come in August.  I had hoped for a girl.  I hoped for a sister for my little girl.  I had felt the babys presence.  I knew that babys spirit.  The baby died.  When I saw the blood I knew in my heart that it was over.
Do you know that miscarriage feels like labor.  Like the labor you feel when you are going to deliver a living baby.  Do you know your water breaks. Do you know you bleed.  Do you know that your cervix dilates and your uterus contracts.  I tried laying down.  I tried willing the baby to live.  I tried.
 Do you know that there is a baby.  A body that you decide what to do with. No Parent ever should have to decide how to put there child's body away.  Do you know you cry?  So many tears.  The shaking, sobbing, rocking, holding your stomach kind of tears that only stop from exhaustion.  Mercifully you sleep.

I couldn't handle it.  I couldn't carry on with normal life.  I asked my husband to care for our oldest three children.  I took my youngest two and my broken heart/ bleeding self to my mothers.  I laid in bed with the worst headache.  My mom and my sister cared for my children.  After 3 days I had to face normal life again.  I had practiced my everything is fine face.  I would manage.

Everything was not fine.  I didn't want it to be fine.  For a month I went on that way.  For a month I told my husband as gently as possible that I did not want to be intimate.  I wanted to co-exist.  Living side by side with two separate lives.  I did not want to be kissed or comforted.  I did not want to conceive another child.  I did not want to feel "that way".  I could not convince myself that I would ever want to feel that way again. I would honor my covenants and remain married.   I did not want anything more.  

One day I remembered something.  I remembered that Christs atonement heals.  You know, the way a bone heals.  Meaning all better.  Meaning you are broken and I fix you.  All I had to do was ask him to heal me.  I went in my room.  I knelt.  I prayed.  "Father you have sent your son to heal us.  I am broken and I need to be healed.  I need to be fixed."  I was fixed.  I was healed.  Instantly . That deep depressing longing for the child I lost was gone.  The brokenness of my body was gone.  I was whole.  Jesus Christ said, "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest."  Yes I miss my baby.  Through Christ my soul is healed.