Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts
Showing posts with label prayer. Show all posts

Friday, December 8, 2017

So Many Emotions

        I seem to be on an emotional kick since my psychology class started last week.  I've dealt with a lot of emotions the last couple of months - so have many members of my family and Jeanie's family as well.

        Jeanie is the late wife of my eldest son.  She passed in June and Biff stayed with his in-laws until November 1 or just the end of October.  Biff has experienced a lot of loneliness, some anger, not always positive emotion during his lifetime. He's most happy at the gym.  Working out gives him motivation.

        Jeanie was protective of him much of the time, but not always.  Often there would be meds or demons that would interfere with her thinking.  Sometimes she was nasty and would kick Biff out of the house and would not allow him to see Ali.  Many of us envisioned a repeat of Roland's choices.

        Biff has felt a bit smothered by his in-laws - he thinks they interfere, but I think it's a psychological need on their part.  They have already lost three children in the last eight years; the other two live out of state.  Their single daughter-in-law is living with a guy that she's not married to - which Biff had said was wrong.  Perhaps his in-laws were holding on too tightly to Biff.  He decided to move in with a girl he just starting dating.

        What!?!?  Are you out of your mind?!?  Everybody seems to share in the reaction.  Did you not just say it was wrong for your sister-in-law to be in that situation?  Do you remember what happened with dad and his battle with his ex-wife?  Don't you remember what happened to you?  ?????  All these emotions.  Brothers.  Sister.  Sisters-in-law.  Parents.  In-laws.  I felt so helpless reading through his mother-in-law's posts as she tried to come to terms with what had taken place.

        Some kind of dispute.  I don't know the details but I know Biff can be defensive.  I'd been shaking my head over the entire situation.

        On Monday or Tuesday I had started my assignment for psychology.  We are supposed to find at least five steps to create a strategy for better emotional health.  I had written one sentence - only one.  Kayla emailed me with a comment about Biff.  She said she noticed that he was dating and looked happy and thought it great that he had someone to spend the holidays with.

        I watched a video on emotions.  I was seeing Biff's emotions and not my own.  I am supposed to be the focus of my assignment, not him.  But I had words.  Written words and thoughts.  Enough for an assignment.  Guess I'll use it for a post.  Maybe not.  I saw the picture and had a change of heart.  His new girlfriend describes him with the same exact words that Jeanie did.  Exactly.  We had the following conversation:

Me:     "You look awesomely happy.  Good for you!"

Biff:      "I am [pause] other then the drama it causes with  [the in-laws] but definitely worth it"

Me:     "I'm sorry there's drama with the in-laws.  They're just worried about your decisions as they were/are the welfare of [widowed daughter-in-law]. Sometimes revelations happen that just can't be explained. Take Corey and Joh for instance"

Biff:      "That's true!  Did I tell you it was a revelation?  Because it really was!"

 Me:     "You didn't [say anything to me].  It was something that Kayla said, actually - that and a combination of emotion from my psychology class.

            He mentioned a personal documentation (aka his personal scriptures) that gave him some insight to assist his way of thinking.  I related as I had gone through the very same thing just over sixteen years ago.  I know my mom really had a problem with my sudden engagement to Roland - hey, so did I!  But it was revealed to me.  It was my personal revelation, not hers.  And nobody else is getting David's either.

            It's hard to think that we would actually be inspired to do something contrary to what we've been taught all along.  Why would it be okay to be deceitful (Gen. 20:11 - 12) or kill (1 Nephi 4:10) or to lay down with one unwed (Ruth 3) or why would it be okay to embrace homosexuality? 

        We don't know another's heart or his/her revelations.  We can pray that we may have peace based upon another's decision.  We may not get the same revelation, but that doesn't mean it isn't real. I'm more at peace with it than I was last month - or even just a few days ago.  I have my sister to thank for helping me turn my emotions from turmoil to joy. 

Thursday, November 9, 2017

What Do Pineapples and Prayer Have in Common?

(Pineapple Members, 2016)
            Some people are blessed with learning from others' examples.  Unfortunately it seems there are more who just don't get it and have to figure out things for themselves.  Still there are some who go through trials and still appear to be clueless.  Allow me to share an example.

            When I was a youth, I remember seeing ads in the classified section inviting youth to earn money picking pineapples in Hawaii.  The ad itself was marketed in such a clever way that youth believed not only would they be earning money, but would have an opportunity to tour Hawaii as well.  I remember a bunch of Patrick's friends decided to fill out applications and asked him to join them as well.  My brother, Patrick, has always been logical and decided he would wait a year.  If things worked out among his friends, surely they'd want to return.  If things did not work, well, Patrick had spared himself.

            What the classified ads failed to mention was that picking pineapples is hard physical labor. I honestly don't know anyone who returned for a second year. 

(Picking Pineapples in Florida, 2011)

My sibs and I have been fortunate enough to weigh our options, find others with similar experiences and learn from those experiences - especially if we can spare ourselves from pain - be it emotional or physical.

            I realize that is not the best example of what I am trying to convey.  I'm certain there were many that may not have appreciated what they had gotten themselves into at the time, but may have had a deeper appreciation for the experience they received - though maybe not at the time.

Mareeba Gold, 2016

            Whether we choose to pick pineapples or not doesn't seem relevant to our salvation - not in the same way as turning to drugs or alcohol or something immoral.  Not like joining the service or giving a child up for adoption.  I think the latter examples are more inclined to stay with you and perhaps even haunt you more than the pineapple picking decision would.

            As I had mentioned in a previous post, I am currently reading The Children of Promise series by Dean Hughes.  I am just finishing the third book in the series "Far From Home".  So far I like how he starts each book so if you haven't read the books from the beginning, you can still follow who the characters are.

            World War II is nearly at its end, but the events will have forever changed the lives of those who lived during that time.  Some had been excited to sign up to join the cause - to fight for their country - whatever country that happened to be.  It had been glorified and certainly sounded more exciting than it was.  Even newsreels only touched the surface of how it really was.

            The character named Bobbie writes a letter to her sister-in-law. It is very short.  There is one sentence that really stood out for me - one I think that each of us can relate to:

            "I used to think if I prayed hard enough, nothing bad would ever happen, but now I understand life is all about surviving hard times" - Dean Hughes (1998, p 388)

            I think often are expectations are quite different from the reality that we face. We're not alone.  We can and should turn to the Lord to receive guidance and personal revelation.   Personal revelation is between God and the individual.  There are some who make decisions and appear to have given no thought to the decision whatsoever.  Take me, I agreed to marry Roland after only three days.   I know there were many in my family who thought I was making a mistake accepting a proposal of marriage and now wonder if any of them had felt anything other than apprehension. It had been my personal revelation to accept his proposal.  I was guided by faith not intimate desires.  There was apprehension on my part as well. 

             I know that my brother Corey had a tough go at his attraction to same sex.  As I mentioned in my last post, we all experience being in Gethsemane.  Corey's longest time in Gethsemane was while he was an active member of the church.  His life was a struggle.  He prayed constantly.  He received a personal revelation to embrace his gayness.  Not possible?  Because it goes against what we've been taught.  Of course we're going to question it.  He did.  For many many years.

            Personal revelation isn't restricted to any one religion. After excommunication, he has continued to receive personal revelation and is definitely happier than he ever had been.  Hard as it may be for some people to believe, some people have to leave the church in order to get out of Gethsemane.  Some people have a different mission and because the personal revelation is between the individual and God, who are we to question?  And yet we do because there's always concern - especially when it seems to go against what we've been taught all of our lives. But sometimes Heavenly Father allows us to experience situations that we may not understand at the time, but there is purpose whether we accept on faith or not.

            On the other hand, there are some choices made that don't include the Lord.  Often there is sorrow and devastation, but we can still learn from our mistakes or better yet, from the mistakes of others.  That's why we have biographies and scriptures.  That is why each of us may be called to give a talk and share our experiences.  That is why we fellowship on another - so we may learn from the lives of others.

            Yesterday I read this thought that my youngest son posted to facebook two years ago:

            "The greatest moments of stress people have faced in their lives have led to the greatest accomplishments or failures that brought experience and change. Learning...g from mistakes or looking back on trials conquered is why life is so exciting. Do not live your life scared or afraid. Living with optimism is what makes life great living any other way is not really living. from mistakes or looking back on trials conquered is why life is so exciting.  Do not live your life scared or afraid." 

            Turn the Lord when you need comfort and include Him with big decisions and listen to Him and act upon faith.  Continue to pray and be guided in righteousness.

Hughes, D. (1998). Far From Home. In D. Hughes, Children of the Promise (p. 492). Salt Lake City: Deseret Book.

Picking Pineapples in Florida. (2011). Retrieved from clippix etc:

Pineapple Members. (2016, December 17). Retrieved from shadowverse:

Ripe for the picking, another Mareeba Gold pineapple grown and marketed by Pinata Farms. (2016, December 20). Retrieved from abc news:

Friday, March 18, 2016

Did You Think To Pray?

            Jenna left the house at 5:15 on Wednesday.  I told her she could stay out for an hour and gave her my phone so that she would have it when the alarm went off. 

            She returned home at 5:30 and I told her she could continue to play for 15 more minutes.  Not even two minutes passed before I heard her wailing. Had we been prepared for disaster, both of us would have made certain she had stayed in.

            It happened so quickly, she's uncertain of just how it happened.  evidently she took some kind of fall on her bike in which her mouth was gruffly introduced to the asphalt at high speed.  She came in the house with her mouth bleeding.  Roland and I both thought that the tooth had broken.

            I gave her a wet cloth to hold over her mouth.  She was crying, coughing, disheartened with the sudden events that disrupted our plans for taking her to the church. 
            Roland was immediately on the phone in hopes to find an emergency dentist while I said a prayer.  I felt inspired to take her to the activity anyway.  But Roland seemed more interested on relying on his own instinct. 

            I called a counselor in the young women's to explain or situation and let her know that Jenna would not be attending.  I then called her "Ma" to ask if she knew of any dentists in the stake.  I left a message on the voicemail of the first one.  I did get a hold of the second dentist - who sounded a bit put off by my questions.

            By the time the blood stopped, the damage didn't appear to be as bad as we had suspected.  Her right front tooth was pushed out of alignment.  Actually, it appears that her lip got the worst of it. As I was explaining this to the dentist, he indicated that nothing could be done about the tooth itself right then, but that I could meet with him the next morning.  Meanwhile he recommended IB Profin and Tylenol.

            Roland frantically continued to call numbers for dental and the insurance company while I was making calls to ward and stake members for assistance.  At least I was talking to actual humans and not just copying down numbers given by a machine.

            Roland was finally contacted by someone on the other end of the supposed emergency number.  Roland gave a similar description as I had with the dentist in Roseburg - but the caller at Roland's end was actually able to call in a prescription for antibiotics for Jenna to take in the meantime.

            While Roland was out picking up Jenna's prescription, I received a phone call from the first dentist I had tried contact.  He was calling from the stake center in Roseburg - where Jenna would have been if we had gone with my initial thought - the one that I'm guessing God must have planted.  She had already missed the activity by the time Roland had returned - or would have by the time he got her to Roseburg.
            I sent an email to all of her teachers to let them know that Jenna would be staying home yesterday - hoping we'd be able to get her into the dentist.  She was actually upset with us for having made her miss school.  I was willing to take her in late as the soonest that we get her into the dentist was 10:20, but Roland said it wouldn't be worth having her go for less than two hours just to check her out again. 

            All of the staff was impressed with how well Jenna handled herself.  I too am pleased with her  overall behavior.  She didn't try to milk it.  She was very brave about having the dentist touching sensitive parts inside of her mouth.  The dentist put on a temporary brace and explained that the root may heal and not be disjointed after all.  But there's also a chance that her tooth could start to darken, in which she'll have to have a root canal

            Jenna no longer has the perfect teeth she did 18 months ago.  I don't know if I've ever had perfect teeth.  I had chipped my front tooth when I played on the monkey bars.  Same blood.  Same drama.  I lived with a chipped tooth for many years.  Before my mission, my dentist sawed my two front teeth away and gave me porcelain ones.  I cried when he let me look in the mirror. 

            Jenna has had quite a healthy attitude.  He philosophy:  "God is good, and he'll help me through this . . . so why should I worry?" 

            Good for her!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Pray Before Each Task

Roland gave our middle son, Tony, the nickname “Donald Duck”.  Too often Tony flies off the handle about situations he can’t control or doesn’t understand.  I told him that he needs to pray more often.  That didn’t seem to go over too well.

Prayer has been a part of my life forever.  I always had example of prayer.  My sibs and I were taught to pray.  We said individual prayers.  We said family prayers.  We prayed over the food.  We’d start family home evenings with prayer and end with prayer.  We said morning prayers.  We said prayers before we went to bed.  Before and while on vacation.  It was just something conditioned in me.  I don’t know that I ever questioned it.  Perhaps I didn’t always understand it, but I do now and have for such a long time that it’s hard to remember if/when I questioned prayer.

Oh, perhaps there were times I prayed for something specific and felt my prayers weren’t answered – at least not the way I had wanted.  So perhaps there was a time when I had the response: “I have prayed and it hasn’t done any good.”  I no longer think that.  I pray.  Sometimes it seems as though I’m doing it in vain – but that is when I need to question my part with prayer, and not the Lord’s as He is Always there and Always listening. 

Often times Roland has expressed frustration with whatever project he may be doing on the computer.  My response has always been to ask if he had prayed before starting his task.

I know that not all things run smooth or according to plan all the time.  There is the faith testing and God’s own will that often doesn’t correspond with what we think may be our own.

A specific example involves two different families from the ward where I had grown up.  Two grandmas, each with a grandchild who had a heart condition. 

From my recollection, both children were scheduled to have surgery within weeks of one another.  One baby lived and the other died.  Right now I honestly can’t remember which one.  Both families prayed diligently.  Various family members held a fast.  All of their prayers were answered – though not all experienced the same results – the results which they all wanted for the grandchild to live. 

So what makes one family different from the other?  Why would God answer the same heartfelt prayers so differently?  Why were the results not the same?  I don’t have the answer.  I just know, for me personally, that prayer adds a comfort that I had at least expressed myself.  And the more that I pray, the closer I come so that I do understand.

I realized that was one vast difference between the family Roland grew up in verses my own.  They don’t pray about anything.  They don’t even say grace over the food. It’s just so foreign to me that they don’t consider prayer – for anything.  How different their lives would be if they would kneel as a family and thank Him and ask Him for blessings.

Why would I not pray to thank my maker for all that I have?  Why would I not pray to ask for assistance from a higher being?  Why would I not pray for a miracle that can’t be mastered by humankind? Miracles can and do happen.  But we need to ask.

I thank my mom and dad for their fine example to include God in our lives and to pray before each task or major decision. 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thank You for the Prayers

I suppose I should have waited for Pamela to call back before I created that last post.  She had told me that she’d be going out of town.  I didn’t think of that until after I left the message.  I had tried to contact Scarlet when I thought that Pamela was out of town.  (Perhaps it’s Scarlet who is out of town?)

Pamela returned my call and will be helping me on Super Saturday rather than at the Appreciation Dinner.  I still had not gotten a hold of Scarlett, but sent another email to ignore my first.  But for some reason I had entered the wrong phone number and so I turned the computer on in order to look up the correct number.

Before the computer warmed up, my cell phone rang.  It was Sharon – another sister in my ward – offering to teach a class on making popcorn balls.  Seriously!  Super Saturday is looking like it might be super after all.  Thank you to my readers who took the time to pray for me.  Appreciate the miracle.  It’s going to be great!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Making Changes

         My son Biff purchased a plane ticket and Roland drove him to the airport the other day.  His car sits in front of our house targeted by birds, unregistered, unpaid for.  He’s now in Texas – three hours from where Tony lives.

         Meanwhile we’ve taken the A/C out of his room and put it in the front room.  We’ve rearranged the furniture a little bit and had to move the dog.  So Highness is temporarily parked at the end of the hall right in front of Biff’s bedroom door – which by the way is open.  And it smells bad in there.  Reeks.  I can smell it – and I have basically lost my sense of smell.  So it must be horrid.

         Roland has Biff married off now – to a girl we don’t even know.  And Roland seems okay with it.  Randy (my youngest son) is beside himself.  What was Biff thinking to take off like that?  And not tell anybody?  Well, he obviously made arrangements through work to get the time off.  I wonder. 

         I don’t have him married off.  It would be nice if he does call to say, “Oh, by the way, Hailey and I are married now.”  But I honestly don’t believe it would be a wise decision to just jump into it.  But then again, Roland proposed after only three days.  The decision and prayer and revelation were mine alone.  It wasn’t for my family to decide.  It wasn’t for my friends to shake me up and ask, “What are you thinking?”  It wasn’t for the bishop to say, “You’re wrong” nor is it up to me to question what inspirations Biff may have received.

         It would be nice to buy some new furniture for Jenna – new to her anyway.  Turn Biff’s room into Jenna’s.  Turn her room into a computer room.  I think we ought to trade their rooms around right now – while he’s gone.  Give him more incentive to want to leave the nest.  Though it should be on his terms.  I don’t want him to feel pushed.  On the other hand I don’t want to have a freeloader who doesn’t seem concerned about not taking care of his room or pitching in with other house hold chores.

         I can only pray that things will work out for him and all of us really.

Monday, January 7, 2013

We Don’t Pray for Material Things

          Laurie was giving the lesson in Sunday school.  She had passed out paper and pens and asked us each to write five things that we wish we had.  I don’t remember them all – but the top of my list was I wish that I could be a better mother to Jenna.  The forth thing on my list was transportation.  It was the only material thing that was listed.

          Laurie then asked the class if there were any willing to share maybe just a few items on our list.  Wade rattled off his five good non-materialistic things.  I read only the top one on my list.  Laurie looked a little embarrassed as she confessed that the first things that came to her mind were all material.

          She then went on with the lesson and how each of us need to strive to make accomplishments, and when we turn to the Lord we need to have a plan in place about how to achieve our goals, or dreams, or wishes . . .  She pointed out how wrong it is to pray with, “I want a car.” “Please bless me with a new computer” or what have you.

          When the time came to share ideas  about what we learned, I couldn’t help feeling how blessed I’ve been about wish number four.  That sounds odd, I know.  But it was the one thing on my list that I had prayed about more than anything else on the list – oh, not for a new car – although that would be awesome.  My pleas were more like, “Please allow me to take Jenna to school without breaking down.” “Please allow me to make it to mom’s without any harm or accident” “Please let me get to a gas station before I run out completely”

          Last year when we got the car inspected, I figured it would be our last.  But December rolled around again and the car is still with us.  But it is so flawed.  Falling apart both inside and out.  By the time we’re through with it, I doubt we’d be able to sell it just for parts.  But I won’t drive the truck.  Probably I shouldn’t be driving at all.  So it’s not just the care of vehicle I pray about, but also the driver – who’s a neurotic mess without the transportation issue.

          Before Jenna’s second grade school year had ended, we were down to only one vehicle.  We’d have to wake Jenna up and get in the car.  Roland would drive to work.  I would return home.  Jenna would get dressed.  I would pick up her friend and drive the two of them to school.

          After school let out, we would drive to Roland’s work.  Jenna would do her homework (if we were lucky) and Roland would drive us home.  That lasted two and a half months.
          In the summer I would just have Roland take the car for the most part. Utah was under construction (still is in some places) and it was so outrageously hot outside, I didn’t really want to drive anyway.

          On Wednesdays Jenna and I would take the bus to the high school where she was taking a class in theatre. Occasionally I would take the car.  But then we would have to pick up Roland and the construction made for a much longer drive – so my borrowing the car during the summer was less than once a week. (Jenna and I also took the train to my mom’s house and walked or caught a ride with Kayla)

          So I feel blessed that we have transportation (other than our feet) and that we have gotten away with driving what seems like a relic (it’s actually not that old – it just looks and feels that way) and I continue to pray that “we won’t get pulled over on expired plates” or “please let us arrive safely and return without any harm or accident”

          It feels good, too, to have Jenna suggest saying prayers and watch her grow in faith and build her own prayerful memories.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Power of Prayer

          Christmas is the season for miracles.  But miracles happen everyday.  Not just at Christmas time.   

          Often my mom and I would drive to Bakersfield to see my brother and watch him perform in whatever current play he was in.

          One February when we happened to be on our way down, it was not the greatest of weather.  Snowing hard.  Blizzard almost.  It was ugly.

          We had stopped off in Nephi to get something to eat.  Mom asked if we should check into a hotel and continue our journey the next day.  I left it totally up to her – for I was for getting off the freeway two exits passed our home town – which is less than ten miles.  I definetly wouldn’t be driving in that kind of weather.  But mom opted to go on.

          Going through the canyon was worse part of our journey. We probably should have gotten a room – but than I wouldn’t have this incredible experience to share:

          The snow was falling so hard and it was dark outside and the headlights seemed to make this small star-shaped outline and was our only window to see not too far ahead.  Sometimes we didn’t even know if we were actually on the road or not.

Every once in a while a car would pass us.  Mom would speed up in order to follow the lights from the other car.  But then we’d have to slow down again.  If an animal ran out into the road, we would not see it.  Besides we couldn’t do over seventy in that particular car as it would sound as though it would fall apart.

 At least three cars had passed us and mom would speed up and then slow down again as we watched them disappear.  They were going too fast.  How could anybody possibly drive that fast in that kind of weather?  It was as though we were the only car being snowed upon.

          And then out of nowhere a truck appeared.  The driver guided us through the canyon.  We followed the lights until we were in the clear – and the truck was gone.  Vanished – like it had been beamed into the cold wet sky. 

          The truck was a miracle – whether real or imaginary – it had been a blessing.  An answer to thousands of prayers that were given in our behalf.

Friday, November 16, 2012

The Faith of a Child

          It was 5:30 when we received a frantic knock on the door.  Jenna dismissed herself thinking it was the next door neighbor who had already dismissed himself three times when he did not get his way.  I had thought the same thing – but at the same time it was a more aggressive knock – one of panic not childish play.

          Jorge’s mother had a worried look in her eyes, “Is Jorge here?” she asked hopefully.

          “No, I’m sorry.  I haven’t seen him.  Did he come home from school?”
          Jorge and Jenna don’t even go to the same school.  I had no clue how to help her.  Her cell phone drowned out my question, “How can I help?”

          I worried along with Jorge’s mom.  And Jenna worried with me. 
          “What can we do?” she asked.
          “We can pray.”

          I said the prayer and pondered what to do – I didn’t even know their last name.  Before involving anyone else, I thought it would be better if I had more information to share.

I do know where they live.  So Jenna and I walked over to their house.  Jorge’s mother opened the door – Relieved and Happy.  She’d found Jorge!  I don’t know where he’d been.  The cell phone went off again and she jabbered into it in her native tongue.  Jenna and I excused ourselves. 

          As Jorge’s mother closed the door, Jenna said, “Well, I guess our prayer worked.”