Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Two Anchors for 2009

Rather than a list of resolutions, at the New Year I generally choose something to inspire me and then apply it throughout the year. (because how will I know what is to come?) This year, I couldn't decide on one, so I chose two.

The first has been helpful to me in understanding a year that has been particularly hard for me as a Mormon. For me, it serves to quell doubts and help me stand strong in times of confusion and frustration. It is the whole of section 1 from the Doctrine & Covenants:

1 Hearken, O ye people of my church, saith the voice of him who dwells on high, and whose eyes are upon all men; yea, verily I say: Hearken ye people from afar; and ye that are upon the islands of the sea, listen together.
2 For verily the voice of the Lord is unto all men, and there is none to escape; and there is no eye that shall not see, neither ear that shall not hear, neither heart that shall not be penetrated.
3 And the rebellious shall be pierced with much sorrow; for their iniquities shall be spoken upon the housetops, and their secret acts shall be revealed.
4 And the voice of warning shall be unto all people, by the mouths of my disciples, whom I have chosen in these last days.
5 And they shall go forth and none shall stay them, for I the Lord have commanded them.
6 Behold, this is mine authority, and the authority of my servants, and my preface unto the book of my commandments, which I have given them to publish unto you, O inhabitants of the earth.
7 Wherefore, fear and tremble, O ye people, for what I the Lord have decreed in them shall be fulfilled.
8 And verily I say unto you, that they who go forth, bearing these tidings unto the inhabitants of the earth, to them is power given to seal both on earth and in heaven, the unbelieving and rebellious;
9 Yea, verily, to seal them up unto the day when the wrath of God shall be poured out upon the wicked without measure—
10 Unto the day when the Lord shall come to recompense unto every man according to his work, and measure to every man according to the measure which he has measured to his fellow man.
11 Wherefore the voice of the Lord is unto the ends of the earth, that all that will hear may hear:
12 Prepare ye, prepare ye for that which is to come, for the Lord is nigh;
13 And the anger of the Lord is kindled, and his sword is bathed in heaven, and it shall fall upon the inhabitants of the earth.
14 And the arm of the Lord shall be revealed; and the day cometh that they who will not hear the voice of the Lord, neither the voice of his servants, neither give heed to the words of the prophets and apostles, shall be cut off from among the people;
15 For they have strayed from mine ordinances, and have broken mine everlasting covenant;
16 They seek not the Lord to establish his righteousness, but every man walketh in his own way, and after the image of his own god, whose image is in the likeness of the world, and whose substance is that of an idol, which waxeth old and shall perish in Babylon, even Babylon the great, which shall fall.
17 Wherefore, I the Lord, knowing the calamity which should come upon the inhabitants of the earth, called upon my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., and spake unto him from heaven, and gave him commandments;
18 And also gave commandments to others, that they should proclaim these things unto the world; and all this that it might be fulfilled, which was written by the prophets—
19 The weak things of the world shall come forth and break down the mighty and strong ones, that man should not counsel his fellow man, neither trust in the arm of flesh—
20 But that every man might speak in the name of God the Lord, even the Savior of the world;
21 That faith also might increase in the earth;
22 That mine everlasting covenant might be established;
23 That the fulness of my gospel might be proclaimed by the weak and the simple unto the ends of the world, and before kings and rulers.
24 Behold, I am God and have spoken it; these commandments are of me, and were given unto my servants in their weakness, after the manner of their language, that they might come to understanding.
25 And inasmuch as they erred it might be made known;
26 And inasmuch as they sought wisdom they might be instructed;
27 And inasmuch as they sinned they might be chastened, that they might repent;
28 And inasmuch as they were humble they might be made strong, and blessed from on high, and receive knowledge from time to time.
29 And after having received the record of the Nephites, yea, even my servant Joseph Smith, Jun., might have power to translate through the mercy of God, by the power of God, the Book of Mormon.
30 And also those to whom these commandments were given, might have power to lay the foundation of this church, and to bring it forth out of obscurity and out of darkness, the only true and living church upon the face of the whole earth, with which I, the Lord, am well pleased, speaking unto the church collectively and not individually—
31 For I the Lord cannot look upon sin with the least degree of allowance;
32 Nevertheless, he that repents and does the commandments of the Lord shall be forgiven;
33 And he that repents not, from him shall be taken even the light which he has received; for my Spirit shall not always strive with man, saith the Lord of Hosts.
34 And again, verily I say unto you, O inhabitants of the earth: I the Lord am willing to make these things known unto all flesh;
35 For I am no respecter of persons, and will that all men shall know that the day speedily cometh; the hour is not yet, but is nigh at hand, when peace shall be taken from the earth, and the devil shall have power over his own dominion.
36 And also the Lord shall have power over his saints, and shall reign in their midst, and shall come down in judgment upon Idumea, or the world.
37 Search these commandments, for they are true and faithful, and the prophecies and promises which are in them shall all be fulfilled.
38 What I the Lord have spoken, I have spoken, and I excuse not myself; and though the heavens and the earth pass away, my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same.
39 For behold, and lo, the Lord is God, and the Spirit beareth record, and the record is true, and the truth abideth forever and ever. Amen.

The second is on a more personal level, and is a pretty famous passage from Nelson Mandella:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It’s not just in some of us; it’s in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Of course, I also have a bit of a "to-do" list, but it is way too personal for me to put on something like a blog. I hope you all can find strength from something you believe, whatever that may be, and let go of the fears that are holding you back so you can enjoy a great year in 2009!

Love, Me

Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A total surprise!

Why am I still up? Because I had a migraine and at around 4:30 took a quarter dose of Excedrin. Yeah, that's how much Caffeine affects me. Anyway, nothing better to do.....

I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas as I certainly did. Once again, I was badly shown up by my DH, who is considered gifted when it comes to giving gifts. Despite the very tiny spending limit (we got rocks- remember?), he once again managed to show me up.

So, you want to know what I got?

Okay, this is not actually a picture of my very machine, but this is the one. A Bernina 830. The legendary "perfect machine." This will probably mean nothing to 98% of you. I was totally surprised. I already have a sewing machine (a 130) so was not expecting it, but it was a good surprise. Haven't done much with it yet, but I am excited to do some sewing on it.

I got my DH a shirt and some candy. Yeah, I feel awesome. He also got some star wars legos, but he bought those himself, so that's not very exciting. (well, I guess if you're a supernerd it is, oops, I mean super cool guy)

So speaking of sewing and making in general, this is a request to all you who have something from me that I have made you: I never remember to take pictures of stuff I make, so if you have a minute, will you take a photo of the item and e-mail it to me? Comment if you don't have my e-mail. Thank you! I feel bad that I give away most of what I make and never have a record of it.

That's all. Maybe I'll try again to sleep before E stumbles back into our room.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Things we'd only do at Christmastime:

Have dessert for breakfast. (pudding has milk in it- that's just like cold cereal, right?)

Instead of just having cheese for a snack, having Christmas shaped cheese.

Be pulled in a "boat" by cousins at the family party.

Squishing cream cheese mixtures into molds for hours on end.
Be with friends from far away, like Weston and Elijah.

Wander around in the park in the dark in the cold looking at animal shaped lights.

Things M wanted me to put on the blog:

M has started to take quite an interest in "his blog" and wants to be able to contribute at times, so here is what he wants to say about these pictures:
This picture has cats and I really like it and it's so great.

This is so great and it's so cool that it makes me really happy. It's a house I built out of k'nex.

I was letting my brother sit on my lap and he was letting his horsie sit on his lap. And I like LEGOs.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Getting a Handle on Handel

I, along with my sister and parents, attended the community Messiah and sang in the Chorus. It was really fun but I felt kind of overwhelmed on some of the more unfamiliar songs. The soloists were all really good, the orchestra was good and the man who did the Trumpet solo was amazing. I was thinking when he did the trumpet solo, (it talks about the second coming and the trumpet that will call people forth) that it would be really good if at the real resurrection if they could play that same song, because then it would be easy to know what was going on.

Anyway, I really enjoy The Messiah at Christmastime especially. I'm glad I went.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Let it snow....

Things have been fun around here lately (well, not if you ask DH, who is outside fixing leaky pipes) Friday I got to have lunch with some great friends, and also attend the Motab concert with yet more great friends. Saturday found us at a ward party eating breakfast, then making Christmas Cookies and today we've (okay, not me) played in the abundant snow that is outside. (with the requisite hot chocolate, of course)

I hope everyone is enjoying the holiday season as much as us. Tonight we are going to see the lights at our local park and tomorrow M is doing a Christmas Program at a nursing home with his preschool. We're just packing in the activities, and I've never been more grateful that I'm one of those people that makes/buys Christmas gifts WELL in advance.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ummm... Happy Thanksgiving?

I think I forgot that I had a blog or something, so I'll pick up with Happy Thanksgiving Everyone! We went to Boise to add to the noise and eat some Turkey and such. Good times. We bowled, went to movies, the beanery, ran around, watched Grammy do dishes, harassed Uncle Patrick while he tried to watch football in the playroom, went to the Fred Meyer sock sale. The kids "helped" Ann put her ornaments up. The usual stuff. It was a nice trip and fun for the kids to see all 6 of their cousins, which is sort of rare.

Every day this month we have awoken to boys begging to do their various advents. They have a Lego one, discussed on DH's blog, a traditional chocolate window one, a storybook one, and the Robertson kind with pockets for each day. So far we've seen the Temple Square lights, (well, not me, but the 3 boys) been to visit Santa at the mall, decorated our tree, decorated my parents tree, watched the 1st Pres. Christmas thing, mailed cards, etc.... Almost every night, we have enjoyed playing "I Spy" using our tree ornaments. Yesterday we had school here and we had a day of imagination. It was a lot of fun, and I remembered a bit of what it is like to be little and imagine anything I want. Tomorrow we are focusing on Service, and I am looking forward to it.

This picture shows that my creative son now makes all his food into sculptures. He is always doing this. (as a result he sits at the table for about an hour after we're done) After I took this picture, he finished the "flower" sculpture by adding the hollowed out apple slices and wobbing up another piece of quesidilla and putting it in the center. Kind of random, but I just thought I should give some blog space to something that takes up so much of my life.

This is E making instruments of his utinsels while simultaneously pretending to be Santa. Dinner is fun at our house.