Monday, June 25, 2012

Adventures With Judy ...Part 2

When the thermometer says 80 degrees outside at 5:30 in the morning, Judy and I  head to the game farm where the many ponds and over-grown trees allow for us to walk without suffering heat stroke. We have been doing that for the past three weeks.

This morning we headed towards an area of the game farm that we haven't  explored thoroughly and started down a dusty, cow-pied road.  After walking for 20 minutes or so, we came upon a herd of 15-20 cows out grazing in a meadow.  I asked Judy if wild cows were known to charge strangers.  She nonchalantly shrugged her shoulders and said she didn't know.

We didn't give it much thought because we continued walking down the road that would go past the cows who appeared to be more interested in their breakfast than two old women out for their morning exercise....or so we thought.

As we got closer,  the cows started to circle up.  We thought they were just a little intimidated by us, but again, no big deal,  and we continued walking almost to where we were parallel with them.  The only thing that separated us was a row of overgrown weeds.

All of the sudden six or seven cows turned around to face us and stared us down.  We stopped in our tracks as we watched each cow turn to face us.  No big deal, we just turned around and started  to walk away.  We did hear some excessive mooing and upon looking over our shoulder we saw  the herd running towards the road, right in our direction.  After we shot each other the "how do we get ourselves into these situations" glance, we started running with all our might.  Every now and then we would look back only to see huge clouds of dust indicating the cows were still on the rampage.  HUGE BIG DEAL...and we were scared!

Because you are reading this blog post is proof that we made it back home safe and sound, but not without it effects on my poor poor knees.  I can barely walk this afternoon!  Would I trade the experience to not have painful knees..............NO WAY!

Monday, June 18, 2012

Living After The Manner of Happiness

Last night was not a night for sleeping.  My body was exhausted, but my mind was wasn't.  Every personal doubt and concern was brought to my attention. Struggles and problems that some of my children are facing, consumed my thoughts.  Uncompleted tasks, school work, weight loss, home projects, financial matters, and so much more were played over and over and over in my mind all night long.  I  could hardly wait until 5:30am came so that I could go on my walk and leave all that behind  for an hour or so.  And that is what I did.  The walk refreshed me, gave some sense of clarity to my thoughts and allowed for me to regroup and continue on with my daily routine which lead me into my  scripture study.

This is where I testify that  a study of the scriptures and taking the time to ponder  is truly how the Lord speaks to us.  I opened up to where I last ended, that being 2 Nephi 5.  Kids..........go get your scriptures, I  discovered a beautiful, inspired pattern that addresses all that consumed my mind the night before and I desire for you to learn this pattern as well.   The end result of this pattern is found in verse 27:  "And it came to pass that we lived after the manner of happiness."   As I read that verse,I immediately was overcome with a desire to "live after the manner of happiness" and no longer be plagued with what I felt was unproductive thoughts and feelings.  With that in mind, I reread,studied and pondered and discovered this pattern to do just that.

1.   Verse 6:  Nephi has been told by the Lord to take"... those who believed in the warnings and the revelations of God" (v 6)  and separate from those who sought to destroy him.  We must separate ourselves from anything that would destroy us spiritually and keep us from living after the manner of happiness.  For me, at this particular moment in time,  that would be feelings of  being overwhelmed and thoughts that are thwarting my progression.

2. Verses 12 - 13:  Nephi brought with him, the records and the Liahona  "... and began to prosper exceedingly". Scripture study and application, along with the companionship of the Holy Ghost is our guide to living after the manner of happiness.

3. Verses 15, 17:  Nephi teaches his people to " be industrious, and to labor with their hands.".  Being engaged in work, hard work, every single day work, physical, mental, spiritual work, is ESSENTIAL to living after the manner of happiness. IDLENESS, whether it  be physical, mental and/or spiritual  is the WORK of the adversary!

4.  Verse 16:  Nephi constructs a temple where the "....workmanship thereof was exceedingly fine".  We are not required to construct a temple, but we are required to worship at a temple where we make and keep sacred covenants.  The exceedingly fine workmanship that we offer is by consistently going and serving others and renewing covenants.  Covenants and temples allow for us to continue to live after the manner of happiness even when life gets stressful and hard.

5.  Verses 25:  The Lord tells Nephi that his brothers seed will serve as "...a stir them up in remembrance of me [the Lord]". I know that all those doubts, concerns, thoughts, problems will not magically disappear and stay away.  But instead of letting them keep me stagnant  I can let them stir me up to act and rely on the Lord and pursue my desire to live after the manner of happiness.

6. Verse 26:  Nephi consecrates his brothers to teach and minister to his people.  I do not have the authority to consecrate anyone to that position and responsibility.  But as your mom, I would ask that you teach each other, your spouses, your children, and your grandchildren how to live after the manner of happiness.   

I write that my children may know.... that  I desire to do all I can so that we can all live after the manner of happiness.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

A Child Shall Lead You

As I dropped off Holly and Hannah at the church for Girls Camp this morning, I thought of the two girls from our stake who were killed on the way up to girls camp a couple of years ago, and also I thought about Jared and I traveling to San Diego tomorrow for a few days to celebrate our anniversary. (I know...what happy, uplifting thoughts.)  But with that in my mind, I hugged the girls and  insensitively said:  "Remember that if I don't ever see you again, I love you!"   I looked at Holly and she was visibly shaken and disturbed and I immediately felt horrible for what was a calloused, flippant remark to her.  I pulled her close again  and said:"Holly I am so sorry for saying that , please forgive me."  Although obviously still upset, Holly responded with these words:  "Mom, I forgave you when you said it."

Two lessons learned:
1.  Be more mindful of the Holy Ghost when  I speak.  
2.  Forgiveness is a condition of the heart, not something that needs to be earned.  
Thank you Holly.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Eternal Glimpses

As a young bride, I said  "Yes"  to eternity with Jared Rust.  Eternity was fine, but at that point in time, I couldn't even begin to fathom being married for thirty-one years.  And here it is, thirty-one years later, wondering where on earth did those thirty-one years go to.

Last night, while saying my prayers, I was discussing my marriage with the Lord; thanking him for Jared, asking him for help, and as I did these things, something very unusual took place.  While still on my knees, I had some very specific memories come into my mind.  Upon finishing my prayer, I quickly took note of  those experiences and wrote them down. As I contemplated such sweet moments that Jared and I had shared in together, I was filled with love and gratitude for him, for my Heavenly Father and Savior, and for the opportunity  to "remember". Remembering is the Lord's way of helping us to renew and recommit to sacred covenants we have made. This experience has done just that for me and  I happily share some of those cherished memories with you.

  •  I remember the trust I placed in a twenty-two year-old Jared, who one day, when he was very frustrated with me, stated:  "No one will ever love you more than I do."  As an immature, unsure, twenty-one year old girl I remember feeling scared  as much as flattered by those words, but totally trusting what he said.   I always counted on his promise to be a source of comfort to me, to help us get through petty arguments and even overcome difficult trials that we would  face together. And they have.
  • One day when our family consisted of just two little boys, Jared came in the house and told me that we needed to get to the temple that evening.  Our temple was St. George (Vegas temple was not yet built), and I responded by telling him that we literally had no money for gas to make that trip.  I will never forget what he said:  "That is one of the reasons why we need to get to the temple".  I was so grateful for his display of faith, obedience, and guidance.  I remember feeling so safe, and so grateful to have a husband who acted in faith for our little family.
  • When I was 7 months pregnant with Travis, Jared and I attended a concert with Kenny Loggins.  I was feeling so huge, less than attractive, and just plain exhausted.  But I really was excited to go and managed to even sew me a cute, new maternity outfit for our big date.  I am not sure just when this occurred, but I do know it happened because I replayed the experience over and over in my mind.  Jared expressed to me that although there were lots of girls and women at that concert that night, no one there  was as beautiful as I was.  I remember Jared looking me right in the eyes while he said that, and I truly believed every word he said.  I knew I wasn't the most beautiful girl there, but to Jared, I was.   I was his most beautiful girl and that is all I wanted to be. 
  • While living in the Meadows ward in LasVegas, I was called to serve as  stake camp director.  As excited as I was for that calling, it was also a very discouraging situation as I was working with others who weren't quite as enthusiastic as I was with what I hoped to accomplish. In fact, it had been an emotionally exhaustive 4-5 months of preparation prior to even being on the mountain.  Girls camp came, I went, and I returned home after the completion of the camp.  I walked into our home and the first thing Jared said to me was:  "How did it go?"  in a more upbeat voice than he usually had.  I told him it had been great, and it had.  (The previous problems had  been worked out and did not even enter into my mind.)   Jared then said:  "Well I have prayed for you every day so that it would be a good experience for you."  I realized at that moment  that he had actually suffered right along with me as I had shared with him my frustrations.  Again, feelings of safety overcame me and I was so grateful to have a husband who would  ask Heavenly Father to simply make girls camp a good experience for me. 
  • One day, while living up on airport road with 6 children, Jared was frustrated with something I had done.  I recall perfectly what I did, and to be honest, Jared had every right to be bothered and upset. And this turned into a source of contention.  I am not sure just what was said, but I left to go out into the laundry room.  I stayed there for sometime, thinking, crying and doing the laundry. I don't recall seeing Jared walk into the room, but I do recall feeling his arms embrace me from the back and it startled me somewhat.  I was embarrassed, ashamed, guilty, and so not prepared to feel his loving embrace.  I didn't move.  I didn't say a word.  I just stood there and listened to these amazing, profound words:  "Lorri, I am so sorry.  Can you please forgive me?"   I have no idea what my response was.  I might have nodded my head, or mouthed a very quiet yes.  I was so focused on the warmth of loving arms around me and the love that accompanied a heartfelt apology.  I had never, ever experienced that before.  It was encompassing, eternal, and so needed.  He wasn't the one who needed to ask, but he was the one who did.  And I was the one who felt safe and secure in his arms and in his words.  
  • The last experience I share is a little embarrassing for me, because it seems so self serving, but I hope you understand why I share it.  I was called to be the Stake Primary president of the Logandale Stake.  It was a calling I truly loved and worked hard to do what the spirit would have me do.    One thing I knew for sure, Jared was proud of me and was my greatest supporter, especially with this particular calling.  One day, again, I am not sure of the details surrounding the conversation, Jared, just out of the blue, said to me: " I wish I could find work in Salt Lake so that we could move up there and you could be called to be in the general primary."   I didn't aspire to that, had never talked to Jared about that, but that he would voice such a thing made my heart skip a beat and endeared him to me all over again.. He championed me.  I still walk on the clouds as I  recall that conversation. Not because it is something that would ever happen, but because it is something that Jared thinks could happen!

I love and cherish each one of these memories and so many more.  I am not sure why the Lord brought these to my mind, but he did. Remembering is important!  I love you Jared.  Happy Anniversary.