Thursday, February 28, 2013

Love of Books

I love to read. I love to learn. I am grateful that as a child we had a small little office where there were desks to study on and shelves filled with books. I remember we must have had a subscription to Dr. Seuss books because we would get a new one in the mail on a regular basis. We had regular encyclopedias and a set of medical encyclopedias that came in handy when I started getting suspicious about how a baby is made but was too embarrassed to ask a live person. (And yes, as I found the answer in that medical book; with horror, I realized my parents did that four times!)  I learned at a young age that answers could be found in books. I love books and buying books has always been a hobby of mine made easier with the online kindle store for ipad. In fact, too easy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013


Yesterday I was back in the pool after a couple of months absence. The minute I walked in, the nostalgic smell of chlorine reminded me I was in a place of comfort. As I put on my fashionable swim cap that coordinates with my swimsuit, I knew that even that little touch makes the experience all the more enjoyable for me. Putting on the goggles reminds me that I am a serious swimmer, and that I am willing to look geeky to do it right. (What is my excuse for the rest of the day? you wonder.)

As I entered the water, I was grateful that the temperature was comfortable, and then quickly gliding through water I felt like I was cutting through silk. In the beginning, my goggles were clear and I could see everything; but gradually they fogged up, and I sensed I was in this private cocoon with nothing but my own thoughts. Swimming offers a unique meditative experience. I think deeply and I even say a silent prayer. I prayed that the warm spot I went through wasn't what I thought it could be. And finally, after spending that hour swimming, I love the exhilarating feeling that lasts well into the day. 

How grateful I am that I can still participate in a sport that I loved at such a young age. I appreciate my parents providing regular and synchronized swimming lessons and eventually a pool. I spent a lot of time learning and playing at the Layton pool and eventually at our own.  I loved that we would go to Bear Lake every year and spend hours in the water. I was grateful that I could pursue a class in college to fine tune my stroke and eventually get my life saving certificate. I never worked as a life guard but as a college student, I did teach swimming lessons to young children as they learned to take their first strokes. That was a rewarding experience. Oh how good it feels to experience joy.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


I am in a slump so that means I need to declutter my space and life. I have always found it to be a great motivator to get rid of excess. It is almost as if all the stuff carries negative energy that weighs me down. Once again I will get rid of all that stuff that I bought with high hopes and good intentions that now make me feel guilty because I didn't need it or use it like I thought I would. Emotional baggage could also go in one of these containers.

I also changed my blog design. Change is equally motivating and changing my blog was easier than changing husbands, houses, or hairstyle. 

Monday, February 25, 2013

Peaceful Warrior Movie

One of the weirdest coincidences happened yesterday. Early in the morning I wrote my blog on finding internal joy and peace, and then later that night Kev and I finally watched this movie that his personal trainer gave him awhile ago. It portrayed so beautifully what I was inadequately trying to say that very day. Crazy huh?

The Peaceful Warrior is an inspirational movie that is a must see especially if you want to better understand what I was trying to get across. I want to watch it again and discuss it with some other people who like to process. If any of you watch it, give me a call and we'll talk. Kev just isn't one to process like I would like to. "Good movie, do you want a sandwich?" is all I got from him, and so I sit starved for more discussion.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Internal Joy and Peace

I think we can all conclude that we want to find joy. We are told that men are that they might find joy. Unfortunately, the world would tell us that it is something outside ourselves that brings joy. That joy can only be found in meeting someone's expectations or validation, and thus we can spend a lifetime with our measure of happiness and satisfaction in something that is important to others instead of our own internal feeling for joy that comes from what is uniquely right for us.

Think about it. Think about your school experience. When you wanted to know if you did a good job on something, were you waiting for someone's appraisal and approval?  When you wanted to know if something was worthy to pursue, did you seek for what other people approved of and valued? Was the only measure of your success in school your grades. Or were you ever given guidance and permission to tune into your own heart and really notice how much joy and interest you found in stretching, learning, and discovering and finding the internal reward in that kind of joy and allowing it to be your guide for success instead of someone's evaluation of you or what they think is important for you.

I believe that when we only seek for outside validation for success that we are thus prone to stress; and given a sort of acceptance that stress is our measure for success. we can then falsely believe we have arrived at fulfillment. The world will try to force us to comply to it's expectations with a sort of reward and punishment system that is always outside of ourselves and thus distracting us from really tuning into the feelings of our own heart and following that path of joy and peace.

We often have it backwards believing that getting good grades, money, and even just dutifully perform acts of righteousness will make us happy only to discover that it only makes us look good but not actually feel good. The truth is that it has actually been found that people that have joy in learning get better grades, and people that are happy first will actually make more money.   It is also only when we first feel love and the true joy in service that we can benefit from that performance.

So I am committed to tuning into feelings of  joy that also brings peace. I will notice when I feel that joy and peace and when I don't and make the adjustments necessary to find joy, knowing that finding true joy and peace means that I sometimes have to repent and stretch to become better. I won't confuse a temporary feeling of pleasure or just making something easy as joy because joy is a deeper feeling. I believe it is a feeling of peace and deep satisfaction knowing that we are feeling and doing is God's will for us. He is the only one that knows us perfectly, and I know that He must be my guide in seeking that which will fulfill my life purpose and bring me joy. 

Friday, February 15, 2013

The Healer's Art

It never ceases to amaze me how much of an impact a single sentence in a book, a thought spoken by someone, or in this case, a few words in a hymn can have on my soul and outlook. Going to church one day with a heavy heart, I read the words "I would learn the healer's art" in a hymn (as a favor to those sitting in front of me, I know it's better to just read the words rather than trying to sing them). Because the master healer is my Savior, Jesus Christ; if I want to learn the healer's art, I must learn from him.

What I know about the Savior is that he did not reject or condemn the sinners. He spent time with them and taught others to love and forgive. He was the most critical of those who professed to be righteous because they lived the letter of the law and harshly judged others if they didn't. He doesn't punish or hurt us for sinning, He knows that natural consequences of our sins will be our own punishment and only wants to lovingly rescue us from our pain. He did not allow people to throw rocks at the adulterer, but compelled them to realize that they too are sinners.

I know that I have been better able to heal from my weaknesses and inadequacies as I have felt the unconditional love of my Savior and experienced His patience as I struggle to overcome. As He has so lovingly afforded me that kind of forgiveness, I need to also forgive.

I have often reminded others and continually remind myself that people don't necessarily try to hurt others when they do offend us or blatantly sin, they have just been misguided in the way they seek relief from their own pain. Why would I then want to inflict more pain by seeking to reject, condemn, judge, and punish.

I need to be like my Savior and be more understanding of the pain that is at the root of the offense. Never excusing or justifying the sin because He did tell the woman accused of adultery to go and sin no more; but because she felt loved and understood instead of condemned, I believe she will be in a better position to resist seeking that dangerous path for comfort. I know from experience that it is that kind of understanding and compassion that will heal the pain and then automatically heal the tendency to seek relief in a harmful way. 

Christ is the master healer and His art is to love, understand, and heal. I have felt that from Him and when I choose to reflect His example in how I respond to others, I have seen miraculous healing. I have immense gratitude for Him and what I can experience and benefit from even in the most difficult experiences because He is THE great healer. I am trying to be like Jesus. I have a long, long, long way to go.


Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Parenting True Confession

I have made a lot of mistakes in my life but I am so grateful for not only a forgiving family but a family with the kind of sick sense of humor that can make fun and laugh about some of my most horrific moments.

Once upon a time, out of fear and to protect my family from what I had decided was evil, I thought I should try and protect our Sundays and make them more sacred by controlling what they watched on TV (trust me, I've come a long way baby and I have since resigned from Satan's plan).

One Sunday, all my family decided to watch the Grammy Awards show, and I was in the kitchen feeling righteous indignation and insisting they turn off the show because I had falsely decided, not just what was right for me but what was right or wrong for everyone else to do on Sunday. (I have since learned is the classic sign of a control freak) Never mind the suggestion, "Teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves." No, I had a better way.

Now you have to know that one of our primary businesses was music distribution and so the Grammy's was an important part of what would affect music sales not to mention just a general interest in music; so of course, they didn't comply. My righteous indignation was calling out for more force, and let's just hope this wasn't my true nature and that I was only the victim of PMS, PTS, OCD, Bipolar, and any other ailment that would take away my accountability; but I proceeded to grab the remote and throw it at the TV.  I discovered that when I am really angry that my aim isn't so good and I happened to hit sweet little Taylee in the back of the head. So much for a sacred Sunday or giving any evidence that following my rules for Sabbath observance could produce Christ-like behavior. Our kids have gone years thanking Taylee for her unselfish sacrifice protecting the TV.

Fast forward to this last Sunday. I had gone to a friend's father's viewing, and upon arriving home; discovered my family watching the Grammy's with Taylee wearing this helmet. Gosh, I love my family! They make me laugh so hard I cry.

Go ahead and thank me. I have just made you feel like a better parent.