Monday, April 28, 2014

Live Lucky

I have a few of these hats only because I Kev brings them home after visiting the company headquarters. It is one of the companies that we have invested in and so we get them for free. Because nothing in my life isn't analyzed, I had to decipher the meaning of living lucky. Initially I just assumed that living lucky would mean that life just happens to us and sometimes we are lucky and sometimes we aren't. With this kind of belief, it has nothing to do with our intentions or actions and so I would think that to declare we are just lucky would mean we are just pawns that are affected by the events around us.

No, there really isn't such a thing as luck. I believe what happens in our lives is a result of choices. Ours or someone's. Good results are created by good choices. We don't just have a good day. We have to make a good day even if what someone else choose or what randomly happens seems to bring us either good or bad luck.

I wrote and saved this awhile ago but didn't post it. This morning I got bombed by what was obviously a very large bird. It hit my head and I thought the sky was falling. Luckily (yes it seemed like luck) I had on my hat and so it didn't get in my hair. Out of all the places it couldn't have landed, I guess I was lucky it hit my lucky hat.

Friday, April 25, 2014


I love paths. Whenever I see a nature path, I am drawn to it and long to walk that path. This is a photograph of a path I like to take each Saturday morning. It is glorious.

I have been hearing about walking the covenant path which leads to my Savior. Making and keeping sacred covenants, such as staying morally clean, being honest, and doing all I can to love and serve others are some of the things included on that covenant path.

Some people want to forge their own path through the wilderness and sometimes try to discover the way on their own. I prefer, however, to walk the path that others have walked and prescribed. The stepping is easier and I don't get lost.

Monday, April 21, 2014

We can do it all, but shouldn't

I realize I am capable of doing a lot and I am independent enough to be able to do quite a bit all by myself. But if I do that then I don't allow other people to step up to the plate and do their part. I thus rob them of the reward of contribution and service.

I know that it is sometimes my perfectionism that wants things done a certain way and so I am tempted to want to do it by myself. I am also reluctant to ask for help because I am  capable and thus not wanting to impose on others. I have also been refused help and so I can get timid about asking and then just think I need to get more organized and work harder.  And even if it is overwhelming at times, I do realize that I can be then be somewhat addicted to the "poor me" attitude of martyrdom. 

But when I give all of that up and not only allow other people to help me but expect them to, I not only lighten my load but create a synergistic interdependence that sustains relationships and that can accomplish so much more. It is also a great discovery to realize most people do naturally want to help if given the chance.

Yes, we as strong women can do it and do it all; but we shouldn't.

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Think Like an Artist

You know the song, "Walk like an Egyptian?" Well, I believe that if you walked like one enough, you might become that. Same goes for thinking and acting like an artist. Declaring that I am an artist (like we all are in some form) helps me see all the myriad of ways to express artistry. In fashion, decorating, cooking, writing, photography, and on and on and on.

I can get so task oriented that I just want to get the job done, but now my eyes have opened to new possibilities. To think like an artist and capture ways to make even mundane tasks more artistic. I realize that it is a great way to live fully in the moment and savor beauty in a whole new way. It lends itself to more appreciation for all that God created for us and compels me to be a creator just like Him.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Power of our Subconscious Mind

I have been listening to this book on tape while driving in my car. In essence, what we have programmed ourselves to believe in our subconscious mind plays out in our conscious experience.

I have become aware that my "I am" statements are programming my subconscious mind and then I just naturally live up to the expectation.

If I say "I am not artistic" then I simply won't be able to access artistic capabilities because it will go against my programming. If I say "I am not disciplined" then I can only try and white knuckle some control only to finally fail and live up to my subconscious expectation (or should I say live down to).

I guess I am just like a computer. I have to be programmed for good results. I am reprogramming. I am artistic. I am disciplined.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

A Stitch in Time

One thing leads to another. When I was at the craft store buying my art supplies, I ran into some fabulous yarn and was pulled back to another hobby I started at a young age. Crocheting. I bought the yarn and a hook and as soon as I came home, I started a little baby blanket.

It too brought back memories and I felt like I was coming home. I remember staying with my Great Grandma Adams and her teaching me how to crochet a nose warmer with a tassel on the end. Such a fun time laughing with her as we put on the finished product. I remember my Grandpa Harper telling me the I hold the crochet hook wrong. Sorry Grandpa, I still hold it wrong. Some habits are hard to break.

I was also brought back to a time in college sitting with my BFF Lisa Zundel now Anderson and crocheting together while we watched TV.  I know that my recent desire to start crocheting again was inspired by Lisa as I read her blog and how she stills loves to crochet while she watches TV. Thanks Lisa, you helped me remember how fun that experience was.   

I have discovered that it is always good to look to my childhood to remember what I loved to do. Next maybe I will have to call Jill, Judy, and Brad and put on another play. Unfortunately my Mom is the only parent alive, so we won't have much of an audience. (I need to clarify. Fortunately my Mom is still alive. Unfortunately, the other parents aren't)

Finding my artistic voice

So...I feel that buried deep inside me is an artist waiting to break free, and I am courageously going to unlock the door and see what escapes. I already know that as I start to freely fly that I must follow that which my heart draws me to.

Last week I started a water color class feeling that is a good place to start. What I discovered as I was mixing the primary colors to create new colors is a pull back to my childhood when I first read the golden book, The Color Kittens. That simple book created a fascination at a early age with colors and the concept of the color wheel was permanently etched in my mind and heart. It was thrilling to recapture a childhood passion and I knew I was coming home.

Today I was at the second watercolor class instinctively being drawn to painting flowers and other natural settings and wondering for what purpose I want to paint and what I will do with my artwork. I  realize that knowing I am taking an art class, my children might be filled with anxiety anticipating framed amateur watercolor paintings as their Christmas gifts instead of the usual cash. I already kiddingly warned them of such. Imagine their thrill...

Luckily in the middle of the night I wake up and started to follow wherever my heart leads. I have just been led to Art Journaling. I know that I have already have a love of journal writing and so now I can combine it with my new artistic expression and create a journal filled with thoughts and artwork. Voila! I get to create something I can enjoy and my kids can be saved from having to scramble to retrieve the dreaded artwork from a hiding place and put it on the wall when I come visit.

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Going Beyond the Mark

Sometimes I go overboard. I try to do too much and I  make things more extreme than they ought to be. This picture is a little creepy but sends a powerful message. Always remember, a little is good but things can always get carried away if I don't check myself.

I am grateful for the checks and balances in my life. Some say that the dos and don'ts offered up in commandments or other directions by wise leaders can be restrictive and too authoritarian. Eventually I hope that my inner guide works the best, but those external suggestions and even mandates can be a great guide to keep me from getting too carried away. That slippery slop of self deception can get me to a point I don't really want to be.

One of my best checks and balances are the brutal honesty of my daughters. They will always keep me in check as long as I welcome their honest feedback.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Too Many Requirements?

I love the admonition in Thessalonians 3:13. “Be not weary in well doing.” I have been thinking a lot about the complaint of some people that our church has too many requirements. I have to believe that when we feel like it is too much, we have to have the wisdom and inspiration to know what is needful for us personally and pull back when necessary.

So much of what I have done that has brought me stress has been done out of stroking my own ego and not out of genuinely serving. That is priestcraft and no wonder I feel stressed and resentful for what is expected of me. It is because I am doing things for the wrong reason and to please the wrong people.

What I really know is that my Heavenly Father doesn’t expect more of me than I can handle and that the overdoing is of my own creation because of a sick need to prove myself to others and live up to their expectations instead of His. Overdoing and stressing about something isn’t something my Father expects of me, it is what my cursed ego expects. If I ever feel the expectations pulling me down, just know it is really the requirements of my own ego and not what God asks of me. Give up my own ego and I can better give up the stress of what is required and thus I can serve with more righteous purpose and ease.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

My Savior's Birthday

Today I am celebrating the birthday of my Savior, Jesus Christ. As my gift to Him, I am developing my own list of ways I can be better disciplined in order to be a better disciple of His. It hit me that developing self discipline in and of itself and certainly for my own glory is incomplete and would be prideful and ultimately self destructive. But doing it as a means to another more important end is what I believe the admonition "enduring to the end" is meant to convey. That is what the commandments direct us to--to draw us closer and become a worthy disciple of His; not to make us "righteous."

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Going Up to the Mountain

I usually post random pictures I find on google images. Today I used my own photographs from my Saturday morning hike to celebrate my return to the mountain.

I have always lived just below these mountains and each Saturday morning in the early Spring until as late in the Fall as I can, I enjoy hiking up and experiencing not only a great physical workout but also an incredibly spiritual encounter.

The first photograph was taken from my car as I left my home. The second and third pictures are on the trail up the mountain. The final picture is the spot where I stop, sit, and give thanks for all that I am so blessed with. I am grateful for a magnificent place to come and commune with nature, which automatically puts me in touch with God. I am grateful for a physical body that allows me that labor-intensive experience, even though I am breathing like Darth Vader on the way up.

Friday, April 4, 2014

My Greatest Lesson

The greatest lesson I have learned and keep on experiencing is that my stress or my peace is my own creation. I simply need to have the discipline necessary to hold on to my peace. To get in and stay in that space where I am one with my Heavenly Father. That is the gift of the atonement--that "at one ment" of feeling the connection to my Father's love and peace. The thought, "It isn't what happens to us that matters, but how we react to it," is incredibly powerful and true. My reaction can bring peace or stress. It is my choice. I know that my propensity to want control my life by thinking that I need to control others or feeling powerless and fearful of their choices was my greatest deception and brought me the most stress and pain. I know that no one really caused me the most pain. I did it to myself by my negative reaction. I declare I am "response able!" It is my responsibility to stay in the place of peace and joy. Sometimes I just need to stop, close my eyes, and take a deep breath to feel that connection.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Don't Take Yourself So Damn Seriously

Once upon a time in a tiny village in Layton, Utah, a very cultured and serious Bishop lowered and looked over his reading glasses and told a young Elder's Quorum President who was obsessively concerned about how well he was doing in his calling; "Don't take yourself so damn seriously."

Some of the best advice given.

You know folks, things have a way of working out. Sure, there are always people who need to take life a little more serious, but for those of us living in the compulsive/obsessive realm; we need to lighten up and laugh a little more and know that we really aren't in charge anyway. And just know that my blog posts aren't really for anyone's benefit but my own.

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

We are here to learn from our experiences

I love to reflect. I have learned so much from my experiences as I sit and reflect and write.

This I know. We all have difference experiences because we all have something different to learn. I am grateful for all of my experiences because I have been richly educated and changed in the process. I am grateful for the gift of reflection because it helps me see the purpose in the story of my life and helps me gain greater understanding and ultimately gratitude.