Monday, April 30, 2012

What A Mess

My sweet friend Abbie has a big family just like me and she was telling me not too long ago how she recently had a relative (a mom of one whose home looks like a magazine all.the.time) stop by unexpectly one morning. Abbie had been busy that Monday morning, recovering from a Sunday with a sick child and another child who had been sick in the middle of the night. She'd gotten the dishes put away and picked up toys while the baby slept. She'd done at least 4 loads of laundry and folded and put three of them away. She'd clipped coupons (oh how I love this girl!) and helped her husband via text while he sat in a crazy and boring meeting.

Abbie told me she was pretty pleased with how her house looked, all things considered. It was showing the "lived in" look, but not the "bomb just went off" one. There were a few things here and there that *could* have been put away, but there were people to help and take care of so those things got to wait.

So my friend's relative stopped by and as she came in said something that sounds just like,
"What a mess!"


Abbie told me that if she'd have known her relative was coming, she'd have probably picked up more, just to avoid such a comment. It isn't the first time she's heard something like this from this person.

Even amidst all the amazing things Abbie does and accomplished that morning, she still feels intimidated to have this person stop by, knowing what her house looks like every single day and how she looks down on Abbie's seeming inability to keep up.

I wanted to do two things when I heard Abbie's story: first off, I wanted to reach through the phone and somehow convince Abbie that she is amazing. Well, remind her at least. And second, I had a few choice words come to mind and a good shaking to give to this woman who was so quick to judge and see only what she wanted to see.

And now I wonder how quick I am to judge sometimes or to allow myself to be intimidated by people's comments who have no idea what they're talking about or who say harsh things because they themselves are insecure and they're trying to make themselves feel better. It happens. Call it a "girl thing".

When we're doing the best we can, when we use our energies in the best ways, and when we are following Heavenly Father's direction, we have no need to feel insecure. Even when people aren't kind. Even when people don't understand or give us the benefit of the doubt.

I know this is sometimes easier said than done. But if we're purposeful in our thinking, in our actions and in our reactions, we will be moving in a direction that will cause this to be easier and more natural over time.


Monday, April 16, 2012

Lessons From the Garden, Part 1

It's Springtime and that means the yardwork has started. We are in our second spring in this home, and learned last year just what having half an acre means. Work with a capital "woah!".

Saturday my Mr. spent the day getting the garden plot ready and the kids and I pulled things and moved things and clipped things. My muscles are feeling the workout this morning!

The rosebushes got a good clipping and as I picked up the branches to get them to the pile in the corner of the yard, the amount of thorns was at first a little intimidating. Usually I might try to find a flat spot to fit my fingers in so I didn't get poked. These branches had no such flat spots. They were literally thorns from top to bottom.

So I didn't have much of a choice but to carefully pick them up and hold them gently as I walked. As I did though a thought occurred to me: that these thorny branches are a lot like some of the people we meet in life sometimes. And in order to help them or even introduce them to the gospel, we have to be gentle with them. Even in all of our gentleness, we still might get poked some (as I did on Saturday). But grabbing them and trying to move too fast or force them in anyway won't get us anywhere but to the medicine cabinet to treat our wounds.

It is possible to do good things for people who are hard to do good things for. We just have to be gentle, walk slowly, and not squeeze too tightly.


Thursday, April 12, 2012

It Is NOT Too Late!

My dear friend Abbie wrote something recently and I feel strongly that her words are true and want to share them here. She writes:

"It concerns me that there are some who feel as though their accepting the Gospel and joining the church, perhaps after years of avoiding or putting off doing so, will be met with even the slightest hint of "HA! We gotcha!" That there will be even a subliminal sense of "See? Told you so!" from those who are already members.
Let me say with all of the passion that is within my soul, this is not the case. If you have come to know the truthfulness of the Gospel but feel that all the fighting, whether bitter or friendly, you've done in the past makes it too late or the path too difficult to now start receiving the blessings and benefits of church membership, be assured that it is NOT too late."

It is NOT too late.

Rather than vocal battling, perhaps the fighting for some has been internal ~ that it seems too hard to live according to the standards the Lord has set for His church members... what's missing is the understanding that when the Lord asks us to do something, he not only strengthens our ability to abide, but he also provides blessings based on our obedience.

It IS possible, doable and is NOT too late!


Friday, January 20, 2012

Please Pardon the Interruption

Hello friends.

It's been a while.

Chalk that up to life and chasing a growing family.

I hope you are well and look forward to being with you more in the days, weeks and months ahead.

My best to you,