Weighing Matters

my journey to b.e.t.t.e.r

200th post

Where does the time go? Time flies when you’re posting!

200 posts! What could I possibly say to make this post memorable. Special. Worthy. I thought about finishing my other post [post number 100] where I listed things about myself. Apparently it’s acceptable behavior in post-land to make 100 statements about yourself on the 100th post. I only made 50, so I’ve thought, occasionally, about finishing that.

But to tell the truth, I’m stinkin’ tired of talking ‘first person,’ talking about my hang-ups, my weight, my problems, my idiosyncrasies, my character flaws, my mistakes, my foibles. Tired of talking ups and downs, tired of junk food vs. healthy food. Tired of which exercises work for me, how much I like lifting, my measurements. Just tired of all that.

I want to do something to make me feel. good. right. now.

I want to feel wonderful.

And I know what’s going to take me there. A little gratitude.

1. I love my mom. I love her dearly. Her influence in my life blesses me every single day. Not many moments go by without me asking, “What would Mom do?” It might sound sacrilegious. I know a lot of people ask “What would Jesus do?” I’m pretty sure those two answers would compliment each other on nearly all occasions.

2. I adore my family. Each of my five children are so special to me. Each comes with different personalities, different priorities, different outlooks, but the world is a big place and my heart is a big heart. There’s room enough for all of them.

3. I’m so grateful for my employment which brings with it Wyoming retirement, insurance and benefits, paid vacations and holidays. It’s a good job despite some stressful occurences. I have great hours [early mornings] and nights and weekends off [usually.]

4. I love living where the seasons change. Even though my feet are freezing at this very moment, I so love a fresh snow fall, hearing geese overhead in Autumn, the heat of Summer and the fresh newness of each Spring day.

5. I love learning! I love hearing something amazing I’ve never heard before [or forgotten and get to hear it all over again.] Last Sunday I learned that God gave Moses power over the waters of the earth and he used his power majestically four times: parted the sea, turned water to blood, healed the poisonous water and struck the rock from which water then flowed in abundance. That is exciting!

6. Along with that, I learned the Council in Heaven was a series of councils rather than one long meeting. That makes so much sense to me, but I don’t think I had heard the concept before. Love it!

7. I am blessed with good health [at the moment] and I’m blessed to be able to use this body for everything I need. Just the other day I was somehow able to climb up into the Jeep without help [and without a ladder!] and later opened the door, aimed my feet toward the ground and slid out without incidence. Each day when I’m cleaning the halls I feel like a giraffe trying to bend myself in half to pick up a paper too big for the carpet sweeper, but I get there and back up again with relative speed.

8. I have several dear friends who would do anything for me. Friends I confide in, laugh with, cry with, call at any moment. And many, many close friends who enrich my life.

9. I was blessed to grow up in a huge family where I learned to survive hand-me down clothes, sharing one bathroom with eight other siblings and two parents, preparing meals, doing dishes and daily chores, learning to work together, play together, sing together and pray together.

10. Our home is almost mortgage free.

11. I’ve only been in one tornado and only felt a slight tremor during the Yellowstone earthquake a hundred years ago. I can’t imagine being in war-torn, storm-ravaged, or gang-infested areas of the world. I like my very quiet boring corner of the world.

12. I’m so blessed to know WHO I am, WHERE I came from, WHAT the heck I’m supposed to be doing with my life and WHERE I’m heading if I do the best I can.

13. I love my bed! Every single night when I climb in, the same words tumble out of my mouth “Oh, that feels so good!” And I snuggle down into my memory foam and succumb to my subconscious on my favorite feather pillow.

14. I’m blessed to know how to sew. I can fix lot’s of things, sew many, create a few and enjoy them all. I remember taking 4-H and then Home Ec. My mother sewed everything and all of us girls followed in her footsteps. OK, Louise, Eileen and Carol are fantastic sewers. I get along with what I need to do. I just signed up for a year-long quilting class and can’t wait to get my monthly projects started!

15. My five grandchildren mean all the world to me!

16. I have good teeth! I should have listed that third!

17. Laughter has always been easy for me. I love to be funny. I love to make someone else fall over with laughter. I love a good practical joke. I love good humor. I love to shriek in a movie. And I love to be around someone who makes me laugh out loud!

18. I love my living room furniture.

19. I am grateful for talents that keep me entertained, busy, able to give wedding gifts at a reasonable cost and assure that I’ve always got a project going if I get bored with life.

10. I love my new computer.

21. Ok. My Dad. I love my Dad. I just didn’t have that great of a relationship with him while he was alive. I’ve had a better one since he passed away. That sounds harsh. But it’s really not. It’s not. [I talk to him all the time, now. And I have great memories of him.] He was a very busy father. I felt like he was too busy for me. I felt kind of lost in the crowd. But I know, I KNOW, he worked his heart out for all of us kids. He did everything. He mowed and washed dishes and shopped and shoveled and took care of his mother and her three sisters. He planted a yearly garden and preserved it along side Mom. He planned for the future. He helped all of us with college. He helped a dear cousin of mine, financially. He overlooked so many of my faults. He was a great example of his beliefs and his faith. He provided for Mom so she was well taken care of the last 15 years without him. I know I disappointed him, but I know he loved me.

22. My life has been blessed by being able to spend so many summers at Green River Lakes. We’ve had every kind of memory possible, from grizzly bears, to 100 people sleeping on the floor in the lodge, to picking up one thousand cigarette butts and Hershey-kiss foils during our years as caretakers, to hikes and river rides and hypothermia and giardia. From inside-out tents in the dark, to pot-luck dinners. We’ve played Rook in the tent by lantern, seen Telescope Man and the Cook family for years, built rafts and sand cities, and canoed to the upper lake. We’ve had baptisms and family councils and church meetings on Sundays. We’ve made strawberry pie, and jello chilled in our little campground stream. We’ve hiked to the cave and called out to the whole world while standing on the highest boulder. We’ve ‘echoed’ hello’s across the glacier-made valley. We’ve picked layers of ice off our hand-washing water and nearly froze on occasional nights. We’ve had hail-ball fights in mid-July. We’ve been so hot we could only get relief by swimming in the corner swim hole at the bridge or laying in the lake. I’ve loved every single moment of Green River Lakes!

23. I love my Vita-Mix. Enough said!

24. The perfect color of sage green. After buying approximately nineteen cans of paint to match what I had in mind for a craft, I came upon the color ‘Streambed.’ It is beautiful! It is wonderful! You must have it if you love sage green!

25. Sunkist oranges.

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January 15, 2010 Posted by | Blessings!, Just Stuff, Life | Leave a comment

can’t even begin to explain

how full my heart is at this moment.

After a wonderful, exciting, and long day these two sum it up perfectly.

January 10, 2010 Posted by | Blessings!, Children, family | Leave a comment

Week’s End

I’m at Mikelle’s. It’s early in the morning and the house is still. She’s sound asleep in her room, resting for her big day. This afternoon she will become Mrs. Logan T. Hull. She will begin a new page in her Eternity.

Yesterday on my way to Utah a thought struck me with such clarity, such pureness of knowledge. It’s as though heaven whispered to me, “I did all you asked. I finished all you’ve prayed for.”

I realized at that moment how totally choreographed the last year and a half has been. I recognized things have happened that had no other possible explanation except they were directed by a loving Heavenly Father. I knew in an instant He is aware and cares and hears and loves and knows.

If Mikelle hadn’t moved here a few months earlier than originally planned [summer ’08] she would have never had her job at Angie’s Restaurant. She would have never met Kim, who was on a date with Logan. He would have never noticed her. He would have never called her. If she hadn’t been prompted by heaven [and her mother, sister and cousin] to really take a look at this great guy she wouldn’t have recognized all his qualities that make a good husband, a good partner, a good father. If things had not progressed the way they did, Mikelle would not have seen the Lord’s hand in her life. If things hadn’t gone as they did, on the Lord’s timetable, Mikelle wouldn’t be exchanging vows this afternoon with her family witnessing.

Looking backwards. Observing. Seeing clearly.

Blessings.

Peace.

Love.

Joy.

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

I know God hears and answers prayers in a way we, as mere mortals, can often only appreciate long after those prayers are said. I don’t know how many nights I cried myself to sleep after being driven to my knees for this precious daughter. I don’t know how many times my faith was shaken when I didn’t see immediate results for my pleading.

But now I see that He was there all along. His wisdom is far greater than my own. His answers are eternal.

Once again, thank you, Lord, for all my blessings.

Amen.

January 10, 2010 Posted by | Blessings!, Weight just a minute | Leave a comment

dear children

It’s New Year’s Day [5 a.m.] and time to write December’s family letter. I think December has been a magical month. At first I allowed my focus to be [overwhelmed] thoughts of shopping, organizing, sewing, crafting, spending, baking and wrapping. I was pretty crabby about it. It was colder than usual the first part of the month — temps only in the single digits — and I made myself pretty miserable. I snapped at a few people and really didn’t enjoy the Season but as things went on I gradually felt more like celebrating. And I did survive. I don’t really understand all the moodiness back then.

The first week was filled with parties and dinners galore. I think I mostly worried about all the food, deserts, goodies, candy, calories and pounds. But somehow I managed to navigate those with success. I particularly enjoyed my brother/sister party and my ward party. Those are the two that involved people I care about. Leonard’s work party was at a great restaurant [by Bridger Valley standards] and the food was superior, but the people were pretty rough-hewn.

I especially enjoyed having company and someone to talk to and laugh with. It get’s pretty quiet around our house and Leonard isn’t the most communicative person I’ve met. He spends a lot of time at work and then a lot of time winding down in the shop or in front of the TV. I have to admit I’ve gotten into that same habit myself. And sitting in front of the TV wreaks havoc with my outlook and my weight/exercise goals. I’ve enjoyed blogging about the ups and downs of trying to get into better physical condition and have reached goals on several levels. It’s been a good distraction.

For Christmas I got some great gifts – pans, a cooking/camping stove, books, perfume I love, clothing, nail kit, jewelry, and pictures. Quite the wonderful assortment of presents; but again, the greatest gift [by the time you get my age] is always family. It brings warm memories of my own childhood family with Mom and Dad. Waiting on the stairs ‘til everyone was assembled and rushing into the living room to see the Christmas display was a highlight of my younger years. [How did Mom manage doing all that for nine?]

This past week I’ve had the added joy of visiting with Tracy’s family, making [more] watches, playing games, shopping, reading, enjoying little Annes and big Fish, just plain relaxing and getting away from work. And this morning Blythe and I are heading to Jackson to play in the snow with Scott and Andie. We’ll see the elk and tube down the hill. Then we’re going to soak in the hot tub at the rec center. The perfect end to a great holiday season. [Movies and food might also be involved.]

Most of all at this time of year I am drawn to the greatest gift of all. I’m so grateful for the Savior and his apparent love for each of us. I can scarcely comprehend all that it involves but I know it’s a reality. I know it’s available if we just turn around, recognize, and accept it. I spent many, many years without the gospel in my life. I was rebellious and thought I had to try every phase of temptation, sin, bitterness and scum around. I dug a pretty huge hole and was miserable. Worse of all, I was convinced I didn’t deserve to have a better life. Little-by-little I was nudged in a direction that gradually led me back to church, scripture study, prayer, love and the Atonement [which I admit I know and understand very little about but can’t deny it’s healing power in my life.] I know I haven’t been the greatest example of these things in your lives but I’m here to tell you right now that, next to family, these are the most important things. I can’t imagine my life without the answers, peace and joy I’ve found in the gospel. My life would be bleak without it.

I love each of you in a special and individual way that only a Mother can distinguish and cherish. You are everything to me. I want, more than anything else, happiness for each of you. Direction. Peace. Joy. Contentment. Love.

Love, Mom

Off to a new year. A new decade! Make it a good one!

January 2, 2010 Posted by | Blessings!, Children, family | Leave a comment

tender feelings

I’m so blessed to have these two in my life! They’re good friends, Aunt and Niece. They adore each other and look forward to spending time together. I am grateful to have them here for the holiday and thankful for the joy they bring my life.

Sometimes life gets overwhelming but right when it does, more often than not, something happens to let us know how good life is and if we’d just stop and think about it, there’s more good than bad, more positive than negative and so very much to thank God for.

Counting blessings right now . . . one, two, . . .

December 26, 2009 Posted by | Blessings!, Children, family | Leave a comment

finally feeling

I’ve been pretty grumpy this season. [I try hard to not show it or to let everyone know, but I can feel it inside.] I’m not sure what it is or what it means. Maybe it means I’m getting old and tired of all the hype. Maybe it means I’m tired of the ads and vendors and retailers. Perhaps I’m tired of expectations and ‘shoulds.’ I know I’m tired of spending money.

Anyway.

Today we had a wonderful lesson in Relief Society. Then we had an equally wondeful Sacrament service. Some of my favorite people took part in the program and it was precisely what I needed to soften this old stoney heart and realize the blessings of The Season. The Primary sang, Olivia sang, the men’s choir sang. Merlin and Clinton spoke.

But what melted my heart was hearing Mary Anderson sing ‘O Holy Night.’

Oh my goodness.

This woman is already one of my favorite people. She is already such an example of giving, sharing, doing good works, family, motherhood. She is already an inspiring teacher and speaker. She is already all I ever want to be. But to hear her sing puts me in another dimension. I swear the veil parts and I hear angels. I see goodness in the world. I see hope and charity. I feel my faith and testimony expand.

I’ve lived in this valley nearly thirty years and for the first twenty Mary sang every Christmas. But she hasn’t lately and I’ve missed it. I’d nearly given up ever hearing her beautiful rendition because she’s actually said she’s through with public singing.

I don’t know who convinced her to sing one more time. I don’t know who had to beg. But I’m so grateful I was there, on my second-row bench, sobbing with gladness and overcome with emotion as she sang every note, the special ornamentation she added to the last few words ‘O night divine’ and the reverence she conveyed to each of us in the chapel today.

Truly, my life has been changed by hearing her sing these words. Truly, I now feel the Christmas Spirit.

Thank you, Mary.

O holy night, the stars are brightly shining;
It is the night of the dear Savior’s birth!
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Till He appeared and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope, the weary soul rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Led by the light of faith serenely beaming,
With glowing hearts by His cradle we stand.
So led by light of a star sweetly gleaming,
Here came the wise men from Orient land.
The King of kings lay thus in lowly manger,
In all our trials born to be our friend!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His Gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother
And in His Name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy Name!

Fall on your knees, O hear the angel voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born!
O night, O holy night, O night divine!

December 20, 2009 Posted by | Blessings!, Friends | 2 Comments

ditty

I got my mother’s bedroom furniture when she died — something I’ve always dreamed of owning. I remember when she lived in Evanston all those years ago, I would go into her room and admire her belongings. And I hated to think of the obvious: in order for me to have this beautiful furniture meant that she had to have died. It made me sad. I couldn’t really comprehend life without her, so I’d put the thought of her furniture far away in my heart.

Although Mom died last December, I just picked up the bedroom set in July. When we cracked opened the drawers a little in order to get a better hand-hold, we discovered that they were still full of wonderful and amazing memories. So many aprons that she had cooked in! All her creations of cakes and pies and cookies and bread flew through my mind when I saw those aprons. My dad’s temple recommend was there. I thought of how tall [6’3″] he was and how he smelled after mowing our lawn as well as Grandma Smith’s next door and Auntie Violet’s across the street. I remember all the hair on his arms and how it poked through the top of his shirt. I remember how many dishes he washed for mom.

We found a little ditty. That’s what she use to call them. Little thoughts that she’d jot down. This one also had Larene’s phone number, Robert H.’s address in SLC and two other unidentified phone numbers. I tried to figure what year she must have written it by checking out the other numbers and names but I couldn’t come up with a time frame. Although I can see that it was when she could still write pretty well, so I’m thinking early 2000’s. It had quotes around it so it’s something she heard and liked and wrote down to remind her of its simple soundness.

Look for the humor in the serious, the joy in the sad, the strength in the weak and the best in the bad.

It reminds me of so many of her sayings, ripe with meaning, mellowed with wisdom.

Mom had a creed she lived by. We call it her ‘four izzits.’ She decided early on that if she didn’t know exactly what to do in a situation she would put it to the ‘izzit test.’

Is it TRUE?
Is it KIND?
Is it NECESSARY?
Is it RIGHT?

She used to say “Just because something is true, doesn’t mean it’s necessary to say it!”

I love her for that. I love her for many reasons, but especially for that.

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September 12, 2009 Posted by | Blessings! | Leave a comment

blessings of believing

It’s Sunday. The Sabbath. In fact it is Fast Sunday.

As I opened my fast with prayer, I asked Father to help me feel His spirit throughout the day, during my meetings, and in the quiet of the afternoon and evening. He heard my prayer and I have felt His influence.

I’m grateful for the Sabbath Day, for a day of pause and reflection. A day of ponder and peace. A day of praise and thanksgiving. A day of calm and restoration. I’m grateful for my testimony that I am a daughter of the great God of all — all the earth, all the universe, all that is and ever was or will ever be. I’m grateful for Him and His Divine Son, who know me by name and care for me and direct and guide me through the challenges of this lifetime. I’m thankful that we have guidance on the earth today, through a living prophet who is in constant communication with the heavens as Abraham, Issac and Jacob were in their day. I’m grateful for the Savior and His atoning sacrifice which has freed me from sorrow and pain on several occasions. I’m thankful for my knowledge that Jesus Christ can take away the burdens of our my sin and the pain of heartache, loneliness, sorrow and addictions. And that He can lessen our my feelings of failure, fear, anger, regret, hurt, despair and guilt.

I’m so very grateful to have that knowledge.

I’m grateful for [and acknowledge the Lord’s hand in providing] a good family — my good parents and my brothers and sisters. I am especially thankful for my children and for the blessings that have come into my life through them. I am even grateful for the challenges I have faced, because those very challenges have driven me to my knees for lack of any other source of direction or comfort. And there I have found strength, faith, clarity and hope.

And, as always, I’m especially grateful for Sunkist oranges!

September 6, 2009 Posted by | Blessings! | Leave a comment