Thursday, March 15, 2018

Ultimately the answer really is Love

I used to love going to amusement parks, and even the county fair.  I loved the rides, even the ones that spun me into endless circles leaving me dizzy from my head to my toes.  The teacup rides where I felt like I was in the proverbial spin cycle, the wheel in the center enabling me to make it spin faster and faster.  The roller coaster that seems to grow ever so much higher with each new version. Sitting near the front so I could see the drop as it reached the top plummeting me forward.  Propelling me upside down again and again, and then changing directions spinning me until I didn't know what way was up and what way was down.


The last couple years of my life have not always been pleasurable or even easy for that matter.  I would even go back as far as 2010.  Life just seemed to have taken too many turns, some turns feeling like that roller coaster ride at the amusement  park that turned me over and over and then sending me into a spin cycle.  Leaving me yearning for the ride to even out and finally slow to a stop so I could collect my belongings and maybe my stomach.

Some years are just like that...and then somehow it slows down letting you catch your breathe for just a few moments. The past two years have been like that, allowing me to do a little breathing and catching up perhaps.  Being married and then finding myself single after 31 years has indeed left me feeling like I have been in the spin cycle for quite a while.  I don't think there is anyone that hopes to find themselves in this situation, at least I didn't.

I have spent the last two years trying to find myself again, maybe even for the first time.  Through lots of soul searching, and looking inside and outside of myself, talking to different people, trying to see a perspective that may not have been my own at one time, diet, exercise, nutrition, prayer and lots of rest...I think I might finally be able to say I am finding myself again.

There are a few things I have learned....

1. People are really just trying for the most part to do the best that they can.  So many times we see others and we have a tendency to look at them through our own lens.  The one that we have had the ability to see with our entire life.  There is No Way that we can ever understand  what life looks like for them.  We cannot know even if we were with them, what their view was like.  Especially since so many of us don't even have an understanding of how we feel ourselves.

2. Everyone feels alone.  There are people that because of some chemical imbalance have no problem with this, but for the most part, everyone feels alone.  There is a reason for this though.  The very fact that we come down to this earth disconnected from heaven and from our families is because this life is a test of one.  You against you.  The people in our lives are there to support us on our journey home, not to make sure that we return there.  If that were the case it would be a very different scenario.  

3. God loves you, and He loves me.  I know with all my heart that he loves every soul that has come to this earthly experience and he wants nothing more than to have all of us return to him.  This of course is dependent upon our choices and what we do with the agency that we have been given.  I also believe that like every loving parent out there, if we don't succeed in something He will give us another chance to do better.  This also is dependent upon whether or not we choose to learn from our mistakes and make better choices.

I was watching a movie with my grand daughters the other day...Boss Baby.  The last song of the movie really made me stop and think, because it really holds Truth in it's words.  It was this....


It got me thinking that truly, what the world needs now more than anything is more love.  Love for others, love for other countries, love for the planet, love of all mankind, love for ourselves, and especially love of God.  

I no longer have a love of crazy rides, especially ones that turn me over and over and upside down.  I like more and more the straight and narrow path.  I like knowing what is ahead if possible, and if not, knowing that whatever comes I will be okay.  I like being with people that I love and that I know love me.  I especially like knowing that God loves me, regardless of my past, and is willing to give me  opportunities to grow and become a better person if I choose.   Because really it is all about Love.

He Loves you too....more than you can know



Friday, January 19, 2018

Drop by Drop We Fill Our Vessel



Life used to be easier, it used to be way less complicated.  When our parents and grandparents were living, things were much simpler.  Life has changed because of technology and blessings that we have been given in this day and age.  With the gifts that God has given our planet, it has also changed the way we have things available to us spiritually as well.

Scientists have made us aware of the fact that the atmosphere that surrounds this planet is changing.  We get warnings all the time to stay safe in the sun because the ozone layer is thinning.  Yes they would have us believe it is because we are all full of hot air and that we are destroying ourselves.  I have always had a difficult time accepting this fact.  Yes there is a significant number of people on this planet, but there is even a larger portion of unpopulated land mass.  It just didn’t make sense to me.

When changes that take place on the planet, there is no doubt that changes will take place with us as a human population.  Because that’s what we do…we evolve.  The way we are today is different, our innerness is changing.  There is more light that is currently making it’s way to the surface of the planet, and at the same time the knowledge that has been given to us is growing exponentially.


I was talking to Colton a while back on how different things are just in my life.  I remember watching tv and being so disappointed when one of the 3 stations that existed wasn’t working.  Today we have hundreds of stations that play non stop if you have satellite or cable tv.  Even if you don’t pay for a service, you have the ability to watch thousands of channels over your wi-fi connection with any smartphone that fits into the palm of your hand.  When I turn on my electronic obsession of choice, most of the channels go unused because they hold no interest for me.

I remember having a car that needed to be registered and at the time we were living in Seattle.  We wanted to register the car in Oregon and so one morning I got up,  showered and started my drive.  It was probably a 7 hour drive, and yes I managed to do it all without a cell phone, computer, smart watch, or an in car GPS.  I recall getting to the DMV and registering the car, calling home to let them know I was headed back and then doing just that.
A miracle in todays world.

Remember how people used to actually write letters?  You had to actually write or type on a piece of paper and put it in the mail.   Now we have the internet and anything that we want to communicate can be sent almost instantaneously.  In fact we are almost angry when things don’t happen at the speed of light.

There is a quickening in every sense that has and IS taking place.  Heavenly Father is bathing us in his light.  I have a theory that in fact the atmosphere is changing and physically allowing more light (Light of Christ) to reach us on this planet.  Because things are ramping up.  These are the last days that we are living in that have been spoken and written about for so very long. 

You can FEEL it….I CAN FEEL IT.

In Lehi’s vision of the tree of life, Lehi talks about the Large spacious building, the rod and the tree among other things.  His view of the rod follows a path that leads us through life.  Hopefully one that we hold to for guidance.  I have a slightly different view of my rod.    My rod goes straight up…towards heaven.  Heaven is where my tree of life resides.

The real interesting part of his vision is the building.  We usually  view it as the world around us and society at large that is making fun of those that are striving to be better.  I have a different view on this as well.  Usually when we think of a well built building we envision a strong foundation.  One that will resist stress and damage caused from outside sources.  A good foundation goes deep and is built with the best materials that we have access to.

The building as I see it is each one of us.  The bottom floor is our foundation.  Our tribe are the people that we first come into being with.  They help us to define our foundation.  It is our family, our church, our teachers, our friends…the people that we spend the most time with.  We need this tribe of ours to teach us right from wrong.  How to treat others, and how to work.  We need them to give us our foot hold in life.

If you have ever been in a busy city with high rises, you know that the view from the bottom floor is not always a great one.  It can be messy with garbage that has been tossed as people go about their day.  It can be very noisy with traffic and people rushing to their own destinations.  It can be downright unpleasant.  As we make our way up the stairs of the building our view changes.  The noise is a little quieter, you can’t see the garbage as well, the air is a little cleaner and you can breathe easier.

Go all the way up to the penthouse and the view is vastly different, perhaps even feeling like a different world.  Up on the top floor  the noise from the street doesn’t even find it’s way up.  There is no garbage because it is too far below to even come into view.  The air is so fresh that you open the windows and leave them open, something that would not happen on the bottom floor.  Leaving the windows open on the bottom floor leaves you vulnerable. On the top floor the sky is alive with stars.  Stars that were not even a thought on the bottom floor because of the streetlights blocking their light.

Moving from the bottom floor up is not always an easy thing to do.  The people that live with you on that bottom floor don’t want you to move.  They want you to stay with them.  Change is hard, and most people don’t like change.  When you decide to move up a level or two, they might try to talk you out of it or make you feel guilty, or try to hold you back.

When you get to even the middle floor and tell them how beautiful the view is, that there are mountains, and maybe a lake or even the ocean they may not believe you because to them it does not exist.  When you get to the top and tell them of all the stars, and that you sleep outside under them they will call you crazy, because they would never think of doing such a thing.

In the story of the Tower of Babel – their climb was external as they attempted to climb up to heaven. This is not the kind of climb that we want to make,  It is all by show and forcing our way into heaven. Our climb is different, though just as difficult because it is an inner climb.  Our climb cannot be seen by the outer world unless we allow others to see it, or they see the actions we are taking in order to accomplish our transition.

 In the Story of the Ten Virgins we know that there were 10 women waiting to go into the wedding.  When the time came, 5 found that they did not have enough oil in their lamps to join the wedding party and went to search for more.  By the time they were able to obtain more oil the doors were closed and they could not attend. Each and every one of us has our own lamp that must be filled with our own oil.  At this time in our lives, what is the “oil” that fills our lamps?

In girls camp one year, the leaders presented each girl with a small jar.  They were instructed to keep this jar with them at all times.  Each time they attended something they were given a small drop of oil.  Each time they were present for flag ceremony, each time they attended prayer, each time they were at one of the classes or going on a hike, they got a small drop of oil.  They were only there for a few short days, but the girls that were doing what they were asked to do ended up with a much larger amount of oil than some of the girls that decided to sleep in or not help with the meals.

It is by the small and simple acts that we choose to do each day that will enable us to move higher in each of our buildings.  In so doing we also put drops of oil into our lamps so that when the time comes we will not be left in the dark.  So really….as in the story, we can’t borrow oil from others.  It is an action that each of us little by little, every hour of every day, must do of our own accord.

What do some of those acts look like?  Well for one prayer.  It doesn’t really matter   what you call the one that you pray to, as long as you do it.  Give thanks to your source for all that you have been given.  Acknowledge everything in your life, the good as well as the not so good.  It is in the not so good that the growth occurs and this is where our strength comes from.  Little acts of service are also on the list.  Anything from making the bed for another, washing the dishes, giving someone a lift home, picking up a hitch hiker, raking leaves, shoveling a driveway, and just sharing a smile with someone that is down.  Keeping the promises that you have made with others is huge in my book…this one has many layers.  The list is really endless.  

One really important thing to remember, is to not get stuck on the lower levels.  This world can be a challenge to the best of us.  Each day is an opportunity to be just a little bit better.  There are many things in life that are not inherently wrong, but if we get stuck in them and don’t climb then what is the use?  In this world we need jobs.  That is just a fact.  Yet if that is what we concentrate on and make it our only focus, we may always remain on the lower floors.  Yes we might have the biggest house on the block, and die with the most toys, but in the end all you have is toys and those don't go with you.  Even hobbies such as exercising, and playing a sport can turn into addictions and keep us from taking the steps to where the fresh air is.

Personally, I don’t want to live on the bottom floor.  When you decide to move up a level, it’s going to make others uncomfortable because they will feel like they should be moving even if they don’t want to move…and that’s ok. We need to remember that there will be times when we are meant to move up to those upper floors alone.  Many times we are asked to take steps that take us away from others.  We are meant to move on our own time and at our own pace.  So if you feel the need or desire to climb those stairs, just remember that you are never alone. There are always others there helping us along our journey as we take those difficult painful stairs...even if we can't see them.  Hopefully others will see us climbing the stairs to the new level and at least want to come up and see how the view is.  Often times this will help encourage people to want to change because they see the higher view.

The energies on the planet are changing, and with that our view is changing.   The real question is, does the energy make you feel curious enough to see what is on the upper floor, or are you just going to stay in the noise and pollution?

Come with me up to the penthouse…I hear the view is amazing


_____________

If I could give a gift to you
It would be a gift of light
sent with God’s eternal love
to show you with perfect sight

how wondrous is his love for you
for each of us on earth
he sent us here to learn his plan
to learn of our royal birth

His light shines down upon us all
bathed in eternal love
if we but look then we will find
the wonders from above

It shines from every living thing
even from the grains of sand
scattered as a billion stars
as we journey here as mortal man



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Elaine Rudd

Thursday, December 14, 2017

Little Warriors

I love how for decades now, we have been told that the current generation is the best that has ever been, and in fact that is true.  The children that are being born today are in fact the best and have been held in reserve for this day.  Anyone that has served in the primary, or YM & YW, or who has grand children can attest to this fact.  They are being sent down with light and knowledge that past generations have not had.    I love my grandkids.  My oldest are only 3, and 2, and they are fierce and feisty and a huge handful to their parents who at times have no idea what to do with them.  

When I look at them and watch the interactions that they have with their parents, at times it makes me smile, and at time it truly breaks my heart.  I see  amazing little spitfires that heaven sent down at the last days learning how to be independent and courageous.  Learning how to stand up for themselves and make their own choices.  I also see their parents who want them to be obedient, and learn to listen, and to know that they ultimately are in charge.

I have tried to gently tell their parents how amazing they are, how much Heavenly Father is going to need their fierceness when the going really gets tough.  How Heavenly Father is going to need their independence so that they can make decisions for themselves when the adversary tries to control them.  How valiant they are going to need to be to stand for truth and righteousness.  That we truly are raising another army for the final battle between Light and Darkness.

I know that Heaven looks down at each of us with these same eyes.  Heavenly Father sees us each going through our own struggles, as we battle our own dragons trying to do the best that we can.  He wants us to be obedient for ultimately that is the cornerstone to all creation.  He wants us to learn to listen to the still small voice guiding us each moment of each day, so that later we can learn to listen to the voice of the Holy Ghost which brings us further light and knowledge into the mysteries of heaven.  And he wants us to realize that ultimately HE is in charge and knows the plan, the entire plan that only he has knowledge of.

How can we help to guide these amazingly strong independent spirits that are being sent to Earth, if we ourselves are unable to recognize our role.  We were sent before them for a reason.  We are here to help them wake up when the time is right.  Do not be deceived in thinking that the trials that we are going through are a punishment for things we have done, but see them as the refiners fire that they are.  We are ALL going through the refiners fire, the dirt and debris that is within us is being burnt away and if we are diligent we will be left with something pure and refined that the Lord can use to build his kingdom.  

Never, ever, ever give up.





Sunday, October 15, 2017

Thinking....

Tonight as I was saying my prayers, looking back on the days, weeks, and months of the past and asking for my kids and grand kids to be watched over and protected I had the sense of being such a small speck in the scheme of things.  My heart aches as I think of each member of my family, how much I would love to be able to protect each one from the pain and heartache that this world can throw our way.  That we do each face each day.  

There are those that would blame God for all the bad in the world, for all the things that we see as wrongs or injustices, but the truth is bad things just happen.  To honest people and to not so honest people.  Each day, almost each second of each day we are faced with choices, and it is by those choices that we are blessed with consequences both good and bad.  

My daughter was making a treat for her family tonight, and my beautiful grand daughter was helping her make the frosting.  She was so excited to be helping and in her excitement leaned down to give the bowl a hug and her hair got stuck in the beaters.  The resulted in her losing a large portion of hair from the side of her head.  This literally makes tears roll down my cheeks as I am typing this, thinking of both my daughter and grand daughter and the fear and sadness as this happened tears at my heart strings.  I am so very grateful that it was not worse than it is.

As I was trying to comfort my daughter over her texts, trying to reassure her that she was not to blame I reminded her of a time in her past.  The day that she did a front flip on the trampoline, something that I had asked her time and time again not to do, over rotating and heading towards the springs...hands going between the springs and her mouth hitting the edge of the trampoline......it is all so clear in my mind and something I will never forget, and I still am not certain that I have forgiven myself.  As bad as it was she still has an amazing smile that lights up my world when I am near her.

It makes me wonder how heaven feels, looking down from above and seeing the world in the state that it is.  How sad must Heavenly Father and Mother be looking down from above.  Knowing how much love I have for each of my children, I can only imagine how much love they feel for all of humanity and how much it must hurt them with what we have done with our world.  How it must pain them to see how we treat our brothers and sisters.

There are those that would try to convince themselves and everyone around them that the choices that we make only effect ourselves.  The truth is that every decision, no matter how small effects us all.  I only pray that the choices I make are in some small way having positive consequences...and might help to bring a little more light into a world full of darkness.



I miss you Daddy...you gave me only light



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