Thursday, April 25, 2013

Note to Beebz....

*  This post is not promoting any specific relationships whatsoever. 

 I am so grateful that my sons are attracted to good, virtuous girls. I have always know that they will marry amazing women.  Brittney and Emily are testaments of that.  But this post is regarding my daughters.  Jared is fierce when it comes to the men who will claim his girls; I understand that and am thankful  he is.   Noelle, Natalie and Holly  have been blessed to know and date righteous young men.   Their standard has been set for them .   I do not see them settling for less when it comes to who they will choose to marry.   Beebz, here is that standard.  Learn it, understand it, and when the time comes to date, you do not settle for less.

Enter Eric, Bowen and Dirk.   Again, I am not pushing relationships; but I truly love these three young men.   Some day I might  tell them, but for now I tell you.  I love how they  treat my girls.  I love how they have treated me. Chivalry is not dead or obsolete.  Simple, little acts tell great things about who you are.

1.  They always open every door for you.  * Not only did Eric do this for Noelle, he did it for me.
2.  They look out  for you  first and foremost in all things.  *  Love how Dirk will always make sure that Holly gets the comfortable chair instead of the hard one when they are at the table.
3.  Their words are kind, appropriate and uplifting.  *  Natalie couldn't have helped but think that she was the most beautiful, important person in the world when Bowen asked her to prom. ( must share  that with us.)
4.   Helping others just comes natural to them.  * Holly told me about how Dirk and one other boy were the only two out of eight, that helped clean up dinner when they had it on the mesa for a girl's reverse date.  It was cold & windy and  everyone else hopped into the cars to keep warm.  Holly said that it made her feel so good that Dirk was that kind of person.  * When Noelle was down last week and we started to clean the house, Eric came up to me and asked for chores to do.  After he would finish them, he came and got more. He was  humble and kind and so HAPPY to help out.   *  When I asked Bowen to help Natalie throw a surprise party for Holly's 16th birthday, he was excited to do it and went the extra mile to make it fun for her and Natalie.
5.  They are just all-around good  people.  *  All three of these young men are happy and pleasing to be around.  They smile.  They laugh.  They are positive. They are respectful.

There you have it Beebz.  I have just given you snippets of examples of their character, but you get the idea.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Derrick - A Modern-Day Captain Moroni

The other day I had this thought:  "Derrick and Captain Moroni have a lot in common."  I also thought, that if it was Derrick who was leading the Nephites into battle time and time again, he probably would have done it much like Moroni did.

Captain Moroni always had a well thought out plan, taking into consideration all scenarios and possibilities.   Derrick does that too.  They are both men of action! They don't just speak it; they do it regardless of what is required of them.  Alma teaches a pattern that  exemplifies how both of these amazing men work.  Alma 32: 43.  "...Ye shall reap the reward of your faith, and your diligence, and patience, and long-suffering, waiting for the tree to bring forth fruit unto you." As a little boy, I saw this gift and pattern manifest in Derrick. He has always been a goal-setter.  Many people are!  But what separates him from the others is how he goes about accomplishing his goals.  It is impressive to say the least.  He makes a plan and sticks with it.

Faith -  Faith is a word denoting ACTION!  Derrick does not overly speak his goals.  He just does them.  I expressed to him the other day that dad and I would love to go to the Rome, Italy Temple dedication next year.  He asked me how serious we were in this desire. I answered his question and told him we would love to go with him and Brittney.  Derrick  simply said: "OK, let's do it!  Start saving and so will we."  I don't perceive having this conversation with him again, not until we start to make our travel plans at least.  In his mind the goal is fixed, and the action of faith of going on this trip now begins.

Diligence -  Just as Captain Moroni was wise and strategic, so is Derrick.  He studies out his course of action.  I will never forget his senior year in college as he prepared to interview with possible employers.  He would call me (* I adore... beyond adore, how Derrick has always called me and make me feel part of his life ) and tell me how he had prepared for a particular interview.  I was always blown away by what he told me.  He would study and learn all he could about the company he would be interviewing with.  He would know all the facts, figures and details that would show his interest and desire to be part of the company.  It did not stop there.  He would study for weeks on how to execute a positive, impressive interview, whether in person or on the phone.  He knew how to frame his answers; what kind of questions he should ask, what he should wear, tone of voice to use, etc., etc., etc.  I loved hearing his plan of attack. Just like Captain Moroni,  Derrick's diligence would pay off.  His plan was impressive, strategic, and fruitful!

Patience & Long Suffering - Derrick is what I consider "a slow and steady" person. He does not make rash, or off-the-cuff decisions. I value this gift in him.   It is a spiritual gift  that I feel most great leaders possess.  Derrick isn't swayed by the need for immediate gratification.  He knows what needs to be done and just begins to do it, regardless of how hard or long it might take him.  As a result, his patience and willingness to sacrafice has led to many great and wonderful accomplishments in his life.

Just a couple of days ago Derrick called and in the course of our conversation, he mentioned that he and Brittney were looking to move into new home.  He didn't say much more than that, but this is what that simple exchange meant to me.  I envisioned his course of action to be:  1.   Derrick and Brittney would make an aggressive budget plan to accommodate this  goal.  They would count pennies, go without, reassess, save, and whatever else they needed to do to make this new home financially possible and appropriate.  2.   They would then begin the looking process .  Derrick & Brittney would study out neighborhoods, schools, ward, parks, shopping, work accessibility  and any other imaginable thing that needed to be looked into.  3.   Upon finding their dream home, they would still be cautious, prayerful and thoughtful until they knew it was exactly what they wanted and needed and where they should be.

Actions of faith, diligence, patience, and long suffering might seem like just common sense to Derrick............but it is so much more than that.  It truly is a gift to be able to  plan, wait, work hard, sacrifice, and then stick with it till the end result is what you had first envisioned.

This spiritual gift made Captain Moroni an amazing person and leader.  It has made Derrick an amazing person and  leader too.     I make one final comparison between these two men.  Captain Moroni's job was not to win wars.  His job was to fight for freedom, liberties, God, and righteousness.  Throughout the accounts in the Book of Mormon, we get a sense of  the value he placed on life and his  compassion for mankind.

When Derrick was four years old  I enrolled him in a gymnastics class.  The first class came and I sat in the stands watching my son, and anticipated a future Olympic gymnast.   The very first thing the teacher did was to have all the children run around the perimeter of the gym.  I, being very competitive and somewhat boisterous, and seeing that Derrick was at the back of the pack, yelled out for him to run faster.  He didn't.  In fact he and another little boy were behind all the rest and I could see them chatting back and forth with each other.  I was frustrated and I kept encouraging (yelling)  for him to run faster.  Suddenly the other little boy tripped and fell. Shamefully I admit that I had the thought that at least Derrick will now have a chance to catch up without having this boy to talk to.  That didn't happen.  Derrick stopped; bent down and helped up his new friend and together, they continued their  conversation as they happily came in last place.  Derrick's job wasn't to be an Olympic gymnast. His job was to just be a good, kind friend.   He has always had a sense of compassion for others.  It was manifest as a four year old, and I see it manifest in who he is today.

 Derrick, I have learned so much from you.  The gifts that I mention in this post are gifts that I need to develop if I am to accomplish what I desire to accomplish. I use you as my pattern and example.  I am grateful for your tender heart.  Happy Birthday son.  I love you.  Mommy

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Easter Lessons

 Last Saturday I purchased a fluffy, little yellow baby chick from Home Hardware.  My plans were to show it  to my Primary children and tell them how a chick breaking through his eggshell is symbolic of the Savior breaking the bonds of death. That did not happen. A far greater Easter lesson was "experienced".

By the time Sunday morning came we were all quite  fond of our new family addition.  He would jump out of his box and follow the person who was closest to him.  He was very sociable and enjoyed company!  As our Easter morning got busier I found a box that I was sure he  would not be able to jump out of and placed him in it.   The girls and I then headed to the kitchen to start breakfast.

Holly returned to the living room to ask her dad something and  a minute later I heard her scream as she ran down the hall to her bedroom.  I hurried into her room to find her visibly shaken  and sobbing. Hannah and Jared were close behind and I turned to them in hopes they knew what had happened.  They did. No one realized that the chick had hopped out of his box and when Holly took a step  backward, her foot smashed it.

Now this might not seem like that big of a deal or  it might even seem a little comical to some, but it wasn't.  It was heartbreaking.  Between her sobs Holly kept saying: "I don't know what to do; I don't know what to do!"  After some time, she was finally able to sit down and talk, but she couldn't get the image out of her mind.

As her mother, it was horrible watching Holly and the pain she was in.  I remembered back to the time when I felt the thump thump of the car tires as I ran over a cat.  I remembered the sorrow and pain  I felt upon realizing I had killed something.  But our experiences were different and I truly didn't know the depth of Holly's sadness.

But I knew who did.  I don't know if there has ever been an Easter Sunday where I was so aware and filled with gratitude for a Savior who knows exactly how we feel.  I promised Holly that the atonement would swallow up her pain and take away the horror of the memory.  And then I felt prompted to  go and get a clean, damp wash cloth and wash Holly's feet.  It was all I could do for her.  Symbolically, I was washing away  her sadness and sorrow and I was grateful for that  sweet, tender moment.

Shortly after, Jared went into Holly's room and put his arms around her, offering to give her a father's blessing.  He placed his hands on her head and began his sweet, beautiful prayer. I knew that  the power of the Priesthood  was the conduit to applying the Savior's atonement. Jared gave Holly the blessing, but I too, felt the power of that blessing comfort me.

I asked Holly for permission to  write about this experience.   There has been a healing take place during the week.  The atonement is not just for our sins, it is for anything that causes us to suffer.  Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!

Monday, April 1, 2013

Game Farm Wishes

*Originally this was written on Molly's birthday, Mar. 26th.  I could not post it to my blog for some reason,so I posted it on our RUST LTD FB site.  I now happily add it  to my blog.  

Dear Molly,

As I lay in bed early this morning, I realized that I am fifty years older than you! That is a lot of years. I began to think of your little three-year old person, what you look like, what you do, how I perceive you, and also my hopes and dreams for you. It was a wonderful start to my day.

I continued thinking about you as Judy and I took off on our daily morning adventure. Today we headed for the US Wildlife Game Farm. I love the game farm. I view it as my own tranquil, deserty Garden of Eden. I can hardly wait to share my game farm with you some day, but today, I share with you, my game farm wishes.

Judy and I followed a little path the encircled one of the many ponds that are on this game farm. Lining the path are tall, straight desert cattails. I love desert cattails; the stalks are strong and upright, bending with the breeze, but never breaking. On the tip of the stalks, are tufts of a soft, feathery plant. When a breeze pops up the stalks sway, encouraging the delicate tips to gently float off in the air. Sometimes I blow the tips as if they are big dandelions and hope that my big wishes come true. As I thought of these cattails, I thought of you. I thought of how you pitter patter about, running on your tip toes from place to place, spreading your Molly magic where ever you go. I love it when we Skype and seeing you run, only stopping briefly to read a book or two. I love seeing your blonde curls bounce with each step. You create gentle breezes of love and fun throughout your day, bending here and there, letting everyone share in you!

One of my very favorite game farm things is its wildlife. Geese and ducks cover the ponds. Obnoxious wild turkeys cover the dirt roads and fields. Other animals hide in the bushes and trees, only showing themselves on rare occasions. It is fascinating to be privy to their lives for a minute or two. As we were walking on the outskirts of a lush, green field, I spied four long necks, with pointy, little Canadian Geese heads attached, popping up out of the foliage. Their bodies were completely hidden. Although their movements were very slight, I could see that they necks and heads were almost always in constant motion. They would quickly turn their heads and fix their eyes on their surroundings. These geese were aware of every step we took. They were aware of the flock of ducks that had just left the pond and were skyward bound. They were aware of every chirp, croak and caw. They were taking in all that that moment had to offer. Once again, I thought of you Molly. I thought of your big, beautiful eyes drinking in every thing you see. I thought of your active, alert mind expanding every day. I thought of your wide all encompassing smile, letting everyone know that you are a happy, content little girl. Yes, you are very much like my geese friends; constantly aware and taking it all in.

The morning adventure ended in the most wonderful of ways. We must have been too noisy and undoubtedly startled a big beautiful Blue Heron out of the safety of her pond. I looked up just in time to see her clearing the reeds; her long body sleek and streamlined and I sensed that she was very determined. And then it happened! She open her huge, majestic wings and with one powerful thrust, she took flight. It was inspiring to witness, and I felt the sacredness of that beautiful sight. I couldn't help my excitement and awe as I thought of the time when you will spread your wings and take flight. You will know and more importantly feel, that you are a cherished daughter of God, full of confidence, talents, knowledge and love. You will soar to heights that I can not even imagine.Your flight, Miss Molly, will be majestic, determined and sacred.

It is now our little game farm "Garden of Eden"; yours and mine. I see us walking hand in hand down our cattail lined path, watching our geese and experiencing our Blue Heron's flight together. I can hardly wait until that happens. Happy Birthday Molly Dolly! I miss you and I love you. Grandma