Why Barefoot??

Because being barefoot to me is being raw. Feeling every sharp rock, lush clover, spiky thistle, cushioned blade of grass, slimy covered stones, fragrant feathered flowers, cereal of sand, bead of water, element of litter, and the mash of mud.

Being Barefoot is the promise of prancing in the moonlight, leaping in the waves, running through a meadow, dancing on the porch, and doing all this while enduring a long journey to the end.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

God Is Good- The Nashville Tribute Band

I love this song.....and this phrase came to me head this past week, but first back story.......

I have a friend we are going to call her Lee. We met years and years ago when she married a guy Jesse worked with. They lived in town, and we became fast friends.  Things were great for years but then Lee became sick, very sick. Seizures, lupus and all sorts of complications, it was a hard time and because Lee isn't of the same faith as most people in our town she didn't really have a network of people to help. Her in-laws helped when they could, same with her family and even I got to help with driving to appointments and meals. But, this was ongoing illness not just something that got better. She and her husband eventually got divorced and we moved Lee to Lethbridge. We were able to stay in contact with each other a couple of times a year. It was during this time that I got to know her Dad better he was a delightful man and I admired him a lot.

I am embarrassed to say that I wasn't always the charitable person I would like to be. Sometimes I complained about the stuff I had to do. Or put off calling her when I felt prompted to. This past month here Dad passed away. She called to tell me it was close, and then called again with funeral details. We went to the funeral and I got to hug her.

.....Back to this week....
But finally this week we were able to meet up and go for pedicures. As we walked into the mall I was happy to see that she was moving a little better than normal and without a walker. Still the progress was slower than normal for me. As we got seated,and I helped her remove her shoes and socks I noticed that on one foot her nails were in rough shape. Just another part of the complications but it made me happy to know that we were going to get it fixed up today. As I sat in my chair I noticed the lady sitting next to me. It is someone I greatly admired pretty much a role model for me. As we sat and chatted for sometime about some issues I have been struggle with, there came a great easing of burdens. She help me lighten my load. She was an angel for me. As she left and we parted ways and I looked at Lee and the spirit whispered these scriptures to me....

Matthew 11: 28 - 30

 "Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and will give you rest.
 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for am meek and lowly in heartand ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easyand my burden is light."
"But as it is written, Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him."
By trying to lighten the load of a friend my load had become lighter. 
And so I say "God is Good, yeah God is Good, We've come so much farther Than we thought we could, Keep walkin now, God is Good!"

Oh, and I loved the pedicure! 

Sunday, December 3, 2017

It seemed like a simple question........

When the High Councilman phone and ask me to speak at church, I hesitated, and thought hmmmmmm things are not going great are we sure we want to do this.......but my conscience got the better of me and this is what happened and I said "Yes I will speak with you what would you like to me to speak on?" I would just like you to answer this question.....WHAT ARE YOU DOING TO GET TO KNOW CHRIST BETTER IN YOUR LIFE?

What a question....….mmmmm I put up my Christmas tree……

What a question... it made me think of Alma chapter 5 did you know that are 50 question in Alma chapter 5 I found this out while Sara was making me do my Personal progress Virtue 3……

Prepare to be worthy to enter the temple and to participate in temple ordinances. Read Alma chapter 5. Make a list of the questions Alma asks. Answer the questions for yourself, and make a list of the things you can and will do to prepare yourself to be pure and worthy to enter the temple and receive all the blessings our Heavenly Father has promised His beloved daughters.

The questions that this one question reminded me are found in Vs 14-16 in Alma 5

14 And now behold, I ask of you, my brethren of the church, have ye spiritually been born of God? Have ye received his image in your countenances? Have ye experienced this mighty change in your hearts?
15 Do ye exercise faith in the redemption of him who created you? Do you look forward with an eye of faith, and view this mortal body raised in immortality, and this corruption raised in incorruption, to stand before God to be judged according to the deeds which have been done in the mortal body?
16 I say unto you, can you imagine to yourselves that ye hear the voice of the Lord, saying unto you, in that day: Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?

Can you imagine it? Can you think it? Can you think about the voice of the Lord saying "Come unto me ye blessed, for behold your works have been the works of righteousness upon the face of the earth?

Henry Ford said
“Whether you think you can or you think you can’t you are right”

So one the first things I do to know Christ better in my life is think about him. I think of Him, and I talk to Him, sometimes that is done on my knees and sometimes not. I have conversations with Christ.  I ASK him questions. I have focused a lot on Ask this past year because it is the YW/YM theme for 2017 it goes along with the scripture found in James 1:5-6

If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shallbe given him.
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed

The older I get the more wisdom I am lacking…..and the more I ask of God.

But lets not forget the how, for this is another way to get to know Christ and that is to ask in FAITH, nothing wavering……

We must remember in Alma 32:21
21 And now as I said concerning faith—faith is not to have a perfect knowledge of things; therefore if ye have faith ye hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

I do not have a perfect knowledge of Christ or of all things but I can have a perfect faith and hope for things which are not seen, which are true.

I was witness to an incredible example of this, on Monday. I went to a funeral. Now considering my husband’s line of work I know you are all thinking “shocker”. But this was a very difficult and personal funeral to attend, it was for the death of a 19 month old little girl named Madison. This sweet tough little thing most likely spent more of her 19 months in hospital than she did at home. And I knew I was “walking on holy ground” When the Father, and grandmother of this precious daughter of God sang this song together, I will just read the words to you.

When peace like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say
It is well, it is well, with my soul

Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, o my soul
It is well, it is well with my soul

As I have been asking questions to get to know Christ better in my life, I have also been working on a suggestion giving by President Russell M. Nelson in his April 2017 General Conference talk

Earlier this year, I asked the young adults of the Church to consecrate a portion of their time each week to study everything Jesus said and did as recorded in the standard works.I invited them to let the scriptural citations about Jesus Christ in the Topical Guide become their personal core curriculum.
I gave that challenge because I had already accepted it myself. I read and underlined every verse cited about Jesus Christ, as listed under the main heading and the 57 subtitles in the Topical Guide. When I finished that exciting exercise, my wife asked me what impact it had on me. I told her, “I am a different man!”
I couldn’t resist, if such a study could make President Nelson a different man than what could it do for me? I also believe in what Elder Richard G. Scott said, “If you want to talk to God, pray. If you want Him to talk to you, read your scriptures.”
I want to add my testimony to what Joseph Smith wrote in the Introduction to the Book of Mormon,“I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”
“My dear brothers and sisters, I promise that as you prayerfully study the Book of Mormon every day, you will make better decisions—every day. I promise that as you ponder what you study, the windows of heaven will open, and you will receive answers to your own questions and direction for your own life. I promise that as you daily immerse yourself in the Book of Mormon, you can be immunized against the evils of the day, even the gripping plague of pornography and other mind-numbing addictions.
Whenever I hear anyone, including myself, say, “I know the Book of Mormon is true,” I want to exclaim, “That’s nice, but it is not enough!” We need to feel, deep in “the inmost part” of our hearts, that the Book of Mormon is unequivocally the word of God. We must feel it so deeply that we would never want to live even one day without it.”
Brothers and Sisters I want to know Christ better I want to make better decisions every day. I want to receive answers to my questions and direction for my life. I want to be immunized against the evils of our day including pornography and other mind numbing addictions. I truly want these things if you too want these things than we will study and ponder the Book of Mormon daily.
I believe if you want to know someone better go visit them…. Go to their house.  Elder Richard G Scott’s General conference address in April 2009 truly change my life… more specifically this quote.
Because I love you, I am going to speak to you heart to heart, 
without mincing words. I have seen that many times individuals have made great sacrifices to go to a distant temple. But when a temple is built close by, within a short time, many do not visit it regularly. I have a suggestion: When a temple is conveniently nearby, small things may interrupt your plans to go to the temple. Set specific goals, considering your  circumstances, of when you can and will participate in temple ordinances. Then do not allow anything to interfere with that plan. This pattern will 
guarantee that those who live in the shadow of a temple will be as blessed as are those who plan far ahead and make a long trip to the temple.
Fourteen years ago I decided to attend the temple and complete an ordinance at least once a week. When I am traveling I make up the missed visits in order to achieve that objective. I have kept that resolve, and it has changed my life profoundly. I strive to participate in all the different ordinances available in the  temple. I encourage you to establish your own goal of how frequently you will avail yourself of the ordinances offered in our operating temples.
 What is there that is more important than attending and participating 
in the ordinances of the temple? What activity could have a greater
 impact and provide more joy and profound happiness for a couple 
than worshipping together in the temple?”
I truly remember sitting on my parent’s couch listening to him say those words and having the distinct impression “that if Elder Richard G. Scott could do it than surely you could at least try.” I have tried and have been so severely blessed by doing so. I have had remarkable spiritual experiences well doing all the different ordinances in the temple. These experiences have helped me get to know Christ better in my life.
A few weeks ago some of you might remember me bearing my testimony…it wasn’t pretty….kind of like today…..But President Nunn also bore his testimony that day and offered this scripture found in Moroni 6:5  "And the church did meet together oft, to fast and to pray, and to speak one with another concerning the welfare of their souls."

This reminded me of another Scripture found in 3 Nephi 18:22  “And behold, ye shall meet together oft; and ye shall not forbid any man from coming unto you when ye shall meet together, but suffer them that they may come unto you and forbid them not;”

I actually attending two funerals this week, but the other funeral was for a friend’s father. It was held in a United Church in Lethbridge. We were welcomed in and seating graciously. As I sat in the sanctuary during the funeral I could feel the spirit. I could feel Jesus Christ’s love for all the people there it was amazing and overwhelming. I am trying to get to know Christ better in my life by trying to love people like Christ loved them.

I wish they were all here today so I could testify of Christ’s love for them. I wish some of our neighbours that aren’t here today, were here so I could tell them how much Christ loves them.

I truly love this quote by Elder Devn Corish given in his conference address October 2016 “Sometimes when we attend church, we become discouraged even 
by sincere invitations to improve ourselves. We think silently, “I can’t do all these things” or “I will never be as good as all these people.” …
Please, my beloved brothers and sisters, we must stop comparing 
ourselves to others. We torture ourselves needlessly by competing 
and comparing. We falsely judge our self worth by the things we do or don’t have and by the opinions of others. If we must compare, let us compare how we  were in the past to how we are today and even to how we want to be in the future. The only opinion of us that matters is what our Heavenly Father thinks of us. Please sincerely ask Him what He thinks of you. He will love and correct but never discourage us; that is Satan’s  trick.
Let me be direct and clear. The answers to the questions “Am I good enough?” and “Will I make it?” are “Yes! You are going to be good enough” and “Yes, you are going to make it as long as you keep repenting and do not rationalize or rebel.” The God of heaven is not a heartless referee looking for any excuse to throw us out of the game. He is our perfectly loving Father, who yearns more than anything else to have all of His children come back home and live with Him as families forever. He truly gave His Only Begotten Son that we might not perish but have everlasting life! Please believe, and please take hope and comfort from, this eternal truth. Our Heavenly Father intends for us to make it! That is His work and His glory.
I love the way President Gordon B. Hinckley used to teach this principle. I heard him say on several occasions, “Brothers and sisters, all the Lord expects of us is to try, but you have to really try!”
“Really trying” means doing the best we can, recognizing where we need to improve, and then trying again. By repeatedly doing this, we come  closer and closer to the Lord, we feel His Spirit more and more,and we receive more of His grace, or help."
And I believe that is what I doing to get to know Christ in my life. I am REALLY TRYING brothers and sisters and I hope you are too.


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Opposition in ALL things......

“Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a love of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life” (2 Nephi 31:20).

I also love what Elder Neil A. Anderson says about pressing forward.

“Press forward” implies something more than simply going forward. Press implies something is preventing your advancement, and you must push through it. To go forward in this life, you must press temptations aside, press through obstacles, press the doubt and the fear under your feet, and embrace the divine qualities of faith, hope, and love.
 Another word for something preventing our advancement could be opposition!

I understand what Lehi says to his son Jacob in 2 Nephi 2:11

 For it must needs be, that there is an opposition in all things. If not so, my firstborn in the wilderness, righteousness could not be brought to pass, neither wickedness, neither holiness nor misery, neither good nor bad. Wherefore, all things must needs be a compound in one;

We truly would never fill joy or even know what joy is unless there was sadness.

When talking about opposition the first person that always comes to my mind is  
I loved Elder Maxwell as a youth and young adult. I will always remember the talk “From Whom All Blessings Flow” in April 1997 General Conference, when he appeared bald because of the chemo therapy treatments he had undergone to put his Leukemia in remission. I remember feeling and thinking “whoa when this apostle speaks about tribulation/opposition he is speaking with authority.”  From that time on I became a student of Elder Maxwell and still am.  

Some of you might know that as an 18 year old youth, Elder Maxwell served in WWII. He was present at the Battle of Okinawa, this battle, which has been referred to as the typhoon of steel, because of the intensity of the fighting that happened there.

Elder Bruce C Haven, who wrote Elder Maxwell’s biography, told this story. 
“While researching for the biography he learned about the conditions at this battle. Heavy rains had turned it into such a mud puddle that even tanks disappeared into the ooze. Disease and dysentery plague the soldiers, what little sleep they got was often while standing up in the mud. Supply trucks couldn’t provide consistent food and ammunition. So the troops were always hungry, and especially they were always thirsty. The water was often to foul and oily to drink. One historian said the only thing that saved the solders was coffee which having been boiled was at least drinkable

 In reading the hurriedly written letters home from Elder Maxwell one such letter said, “had a dream the other night, you folks were holding up Carol (his sister) in the window and I was say boo. Boy did that make me blue, it’s rough here, it will be wonderful to bathe again still not smoking, drinking tea, or coffee. Nothing great, but the coffee is tempting sometimes.”

It was at this place that Elder Maxwell had a life-changing experience. Neal’s mortar position was under fire. Three shells in a row had exploded, each closer to his foxhole than the previous one. He realized the enemy had determined his position. The next shell would land on top of him. He prayed “one of those selfish, honest prayers,” 3 asking for protection from the next bomb.

AND here we find this years theme of ASK found in the scripture James 1:5-6
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.
 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed.

Can you imagine it? Can you picture it? An 18 year boy in a mud bog all alone praying to his God to change his life?

Can you imagine or picture a 14 year old boy in a grove of trees all alone praying to his God to change his life?

Both of the lacking wisdom but understanding the if they ASK OF GOD that it will be given to them.

Both asking in FAITH nothing wavering. I hope that we can ponder on that and listen to the spirit when we need to ask of God.

Now back to Elder Maxwell….
In his pocket he carried a copy of his patriarchal blessing that said his life would not be shortened and that he would not be deprived of fulfilling every assignment that was given to him in the pre-mortal existence.
The shelling stopped. He later wrote: “I am sure the Lord answered my prayers. … The following night they began to pour shells in, but almost all of them were duds—either the ammunition had gotten wet or they were not exploding in the very thick, oozing mud. … I felt preserved, and unworthily so, but have tried to be somewhat faithful to that promise that was given at the time.” 4

He always kept a picture with him of Flat Top Hill where the battle had taken place.
When the leukemia came he often compared this experience to Okinawa both in it’s terror and in it’s spiritual impact on him.

When Elder Maxwell first learned of his Leukemia and what the odds against were about any remission at all he was inclined to just accept the inevitable. After discussing with his wife Colleen she said something like this that got his attention. “Neal I don’t think you have paid attention to the first part of the scriptural account of the savior’s time in gethsemane it’s true that he said nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt, but before that he said if it be possible let this cup pass from me. He is our model in all things don’t you think it would be ok if it were possible let this pass from you.”  

Here we have another perfect example of ASKING. An example of our older brother asking our Heavenly Father for wisdom, and strength,

Mathew 26:39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

I would also like to share with you a poem from one of my favorite poets(my Dad) called Gethsemane


Our Saviour sweat great drops of blood

There in Gethsemane.

He humbly asked His Father

“Please pass this cup from me.”

“Nevertheless not my will

But only thine be done.

You are my Father in Heaven,

I am just your humble Son.”

“I will do what I must do,

I understand the Plan.

I know that I must suffer much

As I Atone for Man.”

Our Saviour sweat great drops of blood

There in Gethsemane.

Sometimes I pause and wonder,

How many drops for me?

Elder Maxwell did the treatments and his cancer went into remission for a time.
I believe that all of us will as some point will have our own gethsemane experience that we will all kneel and pray to our Father in Heaven asking with every emotion in our body O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:

I feel impressed upon, to tell you one such experience I had over 14 yrs. ago.  First some back ground well pregnant with our 2nd child it was found in one last ultrasound before delivery that our baby had a tumor in her right kidney. After a trip to Calgary and more ultrasounds we were told the seriousness of the condition and what steps would have to be taken to try to ensure the best help possible for our daughter. Delivery came and we drove her up to the Children’s Hospital in Calgary where she had her first ultra sound now being less than 24 hours old. It was then confirmed that the tumor had taken over the right kidney and it needed to be removed. The tumor was big enough that when you held her you could feel and see the lump, a newborn’s kidney is about the size of the finger tip of the your pinky. This tumor was 5 cm in diameter.  We were blessed to be assigned a room that had accessibility to a small green patch of grass. It there at 2am in the morning before I handed my baby girl over to the surgeons that I had one of my gethsemane moments. You see through the whole ordeal I had been praying “O Father if it be possible, let this cup pass from me:” but it was not until that night that my prayer had changed. It was on the green patch of grass that I was finally able to utter the words that brought me a special kind of peace. Father she is your daughter if you need her back I understand, or in other words, “nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt”.  Hours later as Jesse and I handed our 3 day old daughter over to the surgeons we were overcome with a feeling of being held in the hands of our maker knowing that He was well aware of us and of our daughter.

I have been a witness of others in our ward who I am sure have had Gethsemane moments. They have accepted the will of God although they would have much preferred that the cup would be passed from them.  I watch in awe as they continually, faithfully, ASK of God in faith with nothing wavering but they ask for wisdom and healing.

Elder Richard G. Scott said: “To exercise faith is to trust that the Lord knows what He is doing with you and that He can accomplish it for your eternal good even though you cannot understand how He can possibly do it. We are like infants in our understanding of eternal matters and their impact on us here in mortality. Yet at times we act as if we knew it all. When you pass through trials for His purposes, as you trust Him, exercise faith in Him, He will help you. That support will generally come step by step, a portion at a time. While you are passing through each phase, the pain and difficulty that come from being enlarged will continue. If all matters were immediately resolved at your first petition, you could not grow. Your Father in Heaven and His Beloved Son love you perfectly. They would not require you to experience a moment more of difficulty than is absolutely needed for your personal benefit or for that of those you love” (in Conference Report, Oct. 1995, 19; or Ensign, Nov. 1995, 17).

Yes I am sure that each one of us will go through our own "Gethsemanes" in our lives. I am equally sure that as we continue to Ask of God and Press Forward through the opposition that comes personally, and to the church in coming years that we will be upheld, taught, and especially loved by our Savior Jesus Christ. Who I believe will meet with each one of us in Gethsemane, and will take those sins we are willing to let go and repent of. Not only took them but in so doing enable us with the power to overcome them. If we will only use it! The true key to the power of opposition in our lives is the way that it draws us to our Savior if we let it.

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Attitude of Gratitude

It's funny how some things just stick with you. An Attitude of Gratitude is a talk given in April 1992 by Thomas S. Monson. If you would have asked me I would have said this talk was given a few years ago but I never could have imagined it was over 23 years ago.

I have struggled for years now gaining weight like some people change clothes.  As I look at why I have gained weight there are some of things that stand out.

1) I have stopped writing down what I eat.
2) I have stopped checking in with my Lifestyles consultant.
3) I have stopped writing 5 things I am grateful for everyday.

Don't these look simple. I have tested and tried them. They work, if I do these things I will lose weight.  Mostly because of the consquences of these actions. Let me try to explain.

By writing down what I eat I am aware of what is going in my mouth therefore and henceforth I eat better. I suddenly realize that wow it's been days since I have eaten a vegetable that might be a good idea....

If have an appointment this week with a Lifestyle consultant I feel accountable to talk about my life and what have I done to improve my lifestyle this week. Have I got enough sleep? Have I exercised my body? Have I been true to myself? Have I lived a little more purposefully? How have I coped with stress this week?

Writing down 5 things I am grateful for everyday changes me. I begin to unconsciously look for things that I can write down.  I become focused on what I have instead of what I don't. I realize all that God has given me. I feel surrounded by blessings. It reminds me of the scripture in Zechariah 5:5   "Then the angel that talked with me went forth and said unto me, Lift up thine eyes, and see what is this that goeth forth." I know the truth of the scripture in D&C 78:19   "And he who receiveth all things with thankfulness shall be be glorious; and the things of this earth shall be added unto him, even an hundred fold, yea, more."

It continues to fascinate me that I know exactly how to lose weight I have done it before and I could do it again.......and yet......I continue to not do it. Why? why oh why? That is a post for a different day.

But for now I am grateful for....
1) a lake without a ripple.
2) horses outside my window
3) an ability to listen to prophets past
4) for flannel pyjama pants
5) my ability to go for a walk.