Sunday, January 13, 2013

Faith and the Single Latter-day Saint

As part of my personal scripture study, I have been studying faith in Hebrews 11.  One of the examples of faith is that of Sarah.

Sarah was promised that she would be the mother of nations.  She married Abraham.  Based on the fact that he greatly mourned her death, they must have had a very close and loving relationship.  However, they didn't have children.  Eventually, she decided to give Hagar, her handmaid, to Abraham, in the hope that she would have children through Hagar.  That child, Ishmael was not the promised posterity.  However, it was over a decade before Sarah found that out and bore a child in her old age. Yet, the promise of being the mother of nations still wasn't fulfilled even at her death.  In Heb 11:13, we read that she "died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and [was] persuaded of them, and embraced them....]

Many singles are like Sarah.  They have been promised great blessings including a worthy, faithful spouse and many children.  Yet, they are still single and wait for those promised blessings.  It is easy for people who are married to dismiss this with a simple, "You'll get those blessings in the eternities."  That response doesn't lessen an unmarried person's righteous desire for those blessings.  Is this how Sarah felt?  Did she wonder, "When will I receive the promised blessing of children?  Will I have to wait for the hereafter?"

Sometimes, singles become resigned to their singleness, discouraged by the wait, or they try to figure out all kinds of alternative meanings.  These thoughts could be compared to Sarah thinking, "Maybe I'm supposed to have children through Hagar."   She didn't know that God had something better in store for her.  We know that Ishmael was not the promised child, but Sarah couldn't see the future and know that greater blessings were to come.

We can't see what He has in store for us, either.  We are looking through a glass darkly. (1 Cor 13:12)  That's why faith is so vital for the Single Latter-day Saint.  We need to have faith in His promises, the general counsel given by our leaders, and in the specific instructions He gives each of individually through His Spirit.  Not all of our paths will follow the conventional one.  We have to have faith that whatever path He takes us down will lead to the blessings He has promised.

I ask myself:  Am I exercising faith in His promises?  Am I following His council received through the scriptures and prophets?  Can I actively "wait upon the Lord" serving Him and his children, while I patiently "wait" for those blessings?  Can I find happiness in the journey, knowing that the end will be worth it?

Friday, January 4, 2013

Dining Room Changes

BEFORE

What a difference time makes!  I was looking through this blog and found this picture of my dining room.  Now look:


AFTER

My desk is off to the right, but most of the stuff that crowded this room has been appropriately distributed elsewhere.  This is turning out to be a nice room.



Thursday, April 26, 2012

Crossing the Plains



So, I've been thinking A LOT about Mary Fielding Smith this week.  Mary was Hyrum Smith's widow.  When told that she would slow the wagon train train down and that she should remain behind, Mary wouldn't have any of it.  She told that man, that she would beat him to Zion, and she did.  On the trail, her dying ox recovered because of her faith. She raised her step-children and her own children to be faithful LDS members.

She was a powerful, determined SINGLE mom and I've been comparing myself harshly this week.  I have this feeling that I have to be "self-sufficient."  It seems like all the talks about single moms in church are about "blessed mothers" who took in wash and scrubbed until their hands bled and yet still had a hot cooked breakfast on the table at six am when their 12 sleepy eyed children (who were washed and wearing clean, pressed, mended clothes) gathered in their humble kitchen to kneel around the well-scrubbed kitchen table for family prayer. These "blessed mothers" never complained and never, ever accepted or even needed help.  (Yes!  I already realize that I'm generalizing AND exaggerating.  You don't need to point it out.)

This week has been one of those weeks and a few "murmuring" thoughts have crossed my mind.  First off, I've been sick.  And, so has Little Red.  Not just kinda sick, but full blown can-I-just-lay-here-and-not-move-for-the-rest-of-my-life sick.

And, Baby Boy is working on his second year molars and screaming at night.  Add my cough in, and I'm not getting much sleep.

That wouldn't be so bad, except that I have to go to work.  Ok, I don't have to.  But, if I don't go to work, I don't get paid.  If I don't get paid, I can't pay my mortgage.  If I don't pay my mortgage, I have to live with my mom.  I love my mom.  I even like my mom.  However, anyone who has lived with their parents as an adult can tell you, it's not fun to live with them.  I really don't want to move my five kids back into my parents three bedroom house, so, yeah, I have to go to work.

On top of that, my childcare providers caught our sickness.  (Sorry!)  And, the week was full of appointments.  Baby Boy to the dentist, Farmer Girl to the doctor, Speech therapy for Princess, Ballerina had ballet (what a surprise), the two big girls had mental health, Farmer girl to violin, me to the lawyer....  So, I planned to drag sick kids all over the county.  (Sorry to the rest of you!)

Through all this, I have refused to ask for help.  You have no idea how hard it is to always feel like you are asking people for help when you are used to *being* the person doing the serving.  So, I just didn't ask.

BUT, God had other ideas and sent many of His servants to take care of us this week.

First, our home teachers came.  I had actually planned to ask them to come give us blessings, but they beat me to it.  They came, administered to us (we believe in faith healings in addition to using all medical care available), AND picked up the toys off the floor.  Picking up the toys was no small feat, since one couldn't even walk through the living room without stepping on Legos.

The blessing didn't instantly heal me.  I'm still not well.  I'm sitting here with a headache and a cough.  But, God has blessed me with enough strength to do my work and stilled my cough each day during work.

The next day, I'd just written a note for my soon-to-be-ex that he should feed the kids cold cereal and hot cocoa while I was at work because that's all I was up to cooking, when a church sister called and offered another casserole.

On the third day, another church sister just showed up at the door.  She stayed with the younger children, so that I could get the older ones to their appointments without having to drag the sick kids and the baby with us.  She also did some dishes and picked up.  Later that day, our one well child care provider worked magic on what was left and yet another "angel" brought soup.

On the fourth day, a friend watched the kids so that I could get to the lawyer. I had no idea how I was going to work that!  I don't want my kids at the divorce lawyer!!  I'm trying to shield them from as much of this as I can.  

The point of this is that God sees our needs, not just our physical needs but our emotional ones. We needed physical help, but I couldn't emotionally bend enough to ask. He saw this and answered my prayers.

Sooo...how does this relate to Mary Fielding Smith?    Well...maybe I'm not independent like she was, but God loves me, just like He loves her.  And, He is blessing me and my family, just like He blessed hers.  Perhaps this is a different time with different needs, but I can try to be like her by exercising faith and by praying.  And maybe, just maybe, I too can lead my family to Zion.





Sunday, September 11, 2011

Ten Years

Ten years.  One decade.
Birthing three more babies.  A preschooler turned into a teenager.  

Ten years.  Three thousand six hundred and fifty days.
Six moves, including one to a new state.  Selling a house.  Buying a house.  Hanging drywall.  Tearing out tile.

Ten years.  Eighty seven thousand, six hundred hours.
Noses wiped.  Boo-boos iced.  Meals cooked.  Floors swept.  Diapers changed.  Hugs given.  Sticky kisses received.

Ten years.  Five million, two hundred fifty six thousand minutes.
Facebook posts.  Pictures taken.  Movies watched.  Soccer games attended.

Ten years.  Three hundred fifteen million, three hundred sixty seconds.
Sunny days.  Rainy days.  Cranky days.  Joyful days.

Ten years.
Everyday, normal living.  The ups and the downs; the good and the bad.

Ten years has past since terrorists attacked the United States by using airplanes as missiles.  I sat in my living room that day, glued to the TV, as my two young children wondered why I couldn't stop crying.  Finally, I had to turn the TV off.  It was all too much.

I wasn't impacted directly.  No one I knew was killed, injured or even near the events.  But, like everyone who lived through that day, I was impacted.  What else was planned?  Were we safe?  Would we ever be or feel safe again?

I didn't understand how anyone could hate another person enough  to do this.  I still don't.

My power, the U.S.'s power had been stripped from us.  We fought back.  Some of our response was ugly;  Those who looked like Muslims were threatened and beaten.  Some was controversial; Our government sent troops to the Middle East.

Some was very personal.  I took power back from the terrorists by becoming prepared and by becoming involved.  I joined the Red Cross and became a first responder.  Soon I was teaching first aid and CPR classes.  It was my way of showing the terrorists that they hadn't succeeded.  It was my way of showing myself that I was strong and that I would be OK     

You'd think in ten years, I'd have gotten over it.  I thought that in ten years, I'd gotten over it.  Yet, just like I did ten years ago, I've had to turn the TV off.  The hurt and sorrow is still there.     

What isn't there is the feeling of helplessness.

Ten years.  One decade.
CPR demonstrated.  First Aid lessons taught.  CERT classes organized.  Medical volunteers recruited.

Ten years.  Three thousand six hundred and fifty days.
Water tank fastened.  Gas meters found.  Emergency supplies gathered.  Water stored.

Ten years.  Eighty seven thousand, six hundred hours.
Neighbors served.  Community joined.  Voting my conscious, even in primaries, accomplished.

Ten years.  Five million, two hundred fifty six thousand minutes.
Anxiously waiting through five Middle East tours.  Heartfelt prayers offered.  Comforting reunions.

Ten years.  Three hundred fifteen million, three hundred sixty seconds.
Kindness shown.  Tears wiped.  Laughter shared.

Ten years.
One heart changed.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The First Christmas (Liken Bible Series)I'm home today with a pukey child.  Which means that we are watching non-stop videos.  I just put in one of my favorites from the "Liken" series:  The First Christmas.  I love the music, and I love that they help children imagine the scriptures.  I really love that it's a "kid" movie that I can actually watch without puking myself.  I love that they show a modern day child using scriptures stories to solve his or her modern day problems.  But, what I love most about this particular video is that the angels are multi-cultural and come in a variety of shapes and sizes!

I think that the reason we think of angels and heaven as being white is because their glory is so bright that our mortal eyes can't see the color.  I believe that a God who created such a beautiful world with so much variety and color would live in a world that's full of the same rich variety on a grander and even more beautiful scale.  God loves all of his children and we are all created in His image.

There's absolutely no scriptural support for (or against) my color theory, as far as I know.  But, now you know what I think about when I'm home with a sick kid.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Recipe: Stuffed Summer Squash

It's that time of year again.  The time of year when you lock your car at church to make sure it doesn't get filled with zucchini!

Our neighbor has a glut of these really pretty round yellow summer squash and brought us a boatload of them.  They are round like pumpkins, so I thought I'd try stuffing them like pumpkins.  They turned out wonderful!

Stuffed Summer Squash

8 round yellow squash (but you could really use any over-active similar produce.)
2 boxes Stove-top Stuffing
1 lb cooked crumbled bacon
2 lb grated Mexican style cheese (mix of monterey jack and cheddar will work)
2 heaping Tablespoons of minced Garlic
2 cans condensed milk
1 C sour cream
1 tsp Cumin
2 eggs



1.  Cut the tops off of the squash.  If using regular crookneck or zucchini, cut in half long way.  Scoop out & discard the innards.


2.  Mix the stuffing, garlic, cheese, and bacon together.


3.  Stuff the dry mix into your vegi bowls.  They should be pretty full.















4.  Mix the milk, sour cream, cumin & eggs together.  Carefully pour this mix into the dry mix in the bowls.
5.  Bake 350 for less than one hour.  You want the summer squash to be soft but not mushy.

These are cool looking when served whole, but can be cut into wedges too.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Recipe: Breakfast Burritos


BREAKFAST BURRITOS (40 burritos)


  • 40 med. tortillas, the fresher the better
  • 1 lb. hot sausage, cooked & drained 
  • 1 lb regular sausage, cooked & drained (not brown sugar flavor.  Can cook both sausages together.  Use the leftover drippings to make gravy for tomorrows breakfast.)
  • 24 eggs, scrambled (can cook in oven/turkey roaster*)
  • 2 bags O’Brien potatoes, cooked in oven until firm
  • 1 1/2 lb. shredded cheese (mix of cheddar & Monterey jack)
  • 1 lg. can green enchilada sauce
  • 1 box Velveeta type cheese, grated
  • 40 Foil wrappers
  • Box of gallon zip-lock bags to store the wrapped burritos in (can use tortilla sacks)

Mix sausage, eggs, potatoes, cheeses, and enchilada sauce in a big bowl.  All the cooking and mixing can be done a day ahead.

Fill & roll tortillas.  Wrap with foil. Freeze.  To eat, unwrap from foil, microwave approximately 2 minutes from frozen.  The foil can be saved to use again.

*To cook eggs in turkey roaster:  spray turkey roaster with non-stick spray. Scramble eggs in a bowl; add 2 C milk, stir.  Pour all into turkey roaster at 350.  Stir every 1/2 hour until done.  Expect it to take about 1 1/2 hours.