Monday, March 24, 2014

His Talk Not Mine

I got to speak at our church this last Sunday.  It was good for me to study all week long and to really just sit back and think about real experiences in my life that have brought unity with my family, neighbors, friends, and ward members. (our church congregation that we attend is called a ward)

I prayed and prayed (probably more than I ever have for a talk like this).  I wanted so bad to have our Heavenly Father tell me what it was I was supposed to say.  I wanted to touch those hearts that came to our Sacrament Meeting seeking for answers or an uplift.  I needed the Lord to tell me what to say because I know I am so not capable of knowing the hearts and minds of all those people.  I promised my Heavenly Father that I would study and that I would write a talk but I needed him to fill my mouth when I stood up to that microphone.

I stood there with faith that it would happen and it did.  I hardly spoke a word that I wrote down.

This is a little snippet of what came out:

I told about a word that I learned about from a book called Aspire: Discovering Your Purpose Through the Power of Words by Kevin Hall.  It's the word Genshai (GEN-shy).  It means to never make someone feel small--yourself included.

The author, Kevin, speaks of becoming quickly united with a man named Pravin because walls were let down and personal things were talked about.  Pravin was able to teach this Hindi word "Genshai" to Kevin by connecting it to a word we know out here in the West as "Charity."

If you were to see a beggar on the side of the street and you casually tossed him coin you wouldn't be practicing Genshai.  But if you knelt down on your knees, looked straight into his eyes and thought about all the heart ache, trials, hurts, suffering you've gone through in your own life while you cup your hands around his and lovingly place that coin in his hand then you would be a true practitioner of Genshai.

Reading this a few years ago has changed my life.  It really has made me have a much deeper understanding of true Christ like charity.  It reminds me of 3 things in my life that have added upon this learning for me.

First, is my dear husband, Justin.  He has always been so warm and open with everyone he ever comes in contact with.  I grew up wanting to marry such a guy and I was led right to him!  This man of mine wears his heart on his sleeve.  He makes friends everywhere he goes.  He honestly unites any room he is in.  He's a fantastic missionary because all he does is opens up his personal life and the gospel just oozes out of him!  I fell in love with him because of it and fall in love all over again when I see this happen.

Next, is my Sarah.  Simply put she has no walls.  No onion layers to uncover.  She is a s pure as they come.  It's absolutely a miracle that she is still on this earth and that is why.  She is here for others!  She knows she's Gods daughter and she knows that everyone else on this earth is Gods child too!  She makes us friends up and down our street, at the grocery store, at every school, every meeting, everywhere we go.  She is an open book that just says it like it is--no reservations.  If you're a neighbor drinking coffee she'll tell you why it's not good for your body--she's not afraid to talk to others purely.  If you're mowing the lawn on Sunday instead of being at church she'll give a quick reminder of why that's not okay.  She speaks truth, honesty and her pure heart always!

And then there is the Panic Attack that I had a few years back that knocked me off my feet and caused me to STOP.  I talk about all of this back here at this link...

I had a dream.  A very personal dream about a year ago where just like in Enos 1:10, I heard "the voice of the Lord come into my mind, saying..." I needed to write a blog about my experiences and trials in my life.  I was to share that I have Bipolar, Anxiety Disorder and Panic Attacks.  I was to share my experiences as a mother but also as a "special needs" mother.

Words of Mormon 1:7
"And I do this for a wise purpose; for this it whispereth me, according to the workings of the Spirit of the Lord which is in me.  And now, I do not know all things; but the Lord knoweth all things which are to come; wherefore, he worketh in me to do according to his will."

I feel this way.  I had no idea what would come from following through with this inspiration.

I've learned that peeling back my layers of perfection I was trying to show and pulling my walls down was absolutely necessary to unite with my own family, my own husband and then to be able to pull in the most fabulous special people and relationships up and down my street and all over my ward.  I receive phone calls, texts, emails and wonderful conversations daily that are very therapeutic to me but I believe are healing to those that are contacting me.  I know it is for a "wise purpose!"

So, I asked everyone sitting there on Sunday what does this all mean to us?  It's inspiration from our Father in Heaven that we as a ward need to peel back our layers, pull down our walls and practice a little Genshai in our ward.  We will become united as we open up and share our hearts, our trials, our struggles.

I felt the need to end with my favorite scripture story of Lazarus being raised from the dead.

John 11:11
"Lazarus sleepeth; but I go, that I may awake him out of sleep."

Jesus went to raise him from the dead.  Mary and Martha were weeping when Christ came.

John 11:33, 35
"...he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.  Jesus wept."

He saw that Mary and Martha were so sad and cried with them!  He didn't tell them to just stand up and wipe it off.  He knew he was going to walk around the corner and go raise him from the dead (seeing the end from the beginning) but he knew they were still aching and hurting.  This trial was very real to them and our Savior, perfectly showed his Charity--a little Genshai if you will.

I love that Jesus has compassion, empathy, love just like this for us.  He doesn't just wipe our tears away and say "stand up.  It's okay.  I'm going to bless your husband with a job, money is on it's way, the doctors will let you know what's happening next week, you'll see them again someday--get over it."

He weeps with us.  He knows we feel hurt, or sad--that we're worried.  He knows were feeling these things and struggling through them.  As He weeps with us and we allow him to see us so vulnerable we form a bond with him.  We remember He knows us personally.  We come to know and feel His love and compassion for us.

Well...I sat down at our church after I closed and then listened to the most beautiful arrangement of "Consider the Lilies" by a special woman in our ward that I have grown to admire.  Followed by a fabulous talk by our Bishop.  I was fed and I know others were too.  There was not many dry eyes in that chapel.  I feel humbled to have been a part and to have felt of that special Spirit that was there.

Monday, March 17, 2014

A Moment in My Messy Kitchen

During an attempt to drown out the grumpies this morning (it's Monday after all and even worse, the Monday after Spring Break) Alli and I were dancing around the kitchen.  It was taking a little Pandora to get me to start on the sink full of dishes and of course the piles of laundry.

Well, I had a moment I need to share, so the dishes and laundry still wait.  It was Disney again...hadn't had a moment with Ariel before but suddenly realized I so relate.  Remember her song "Part of Your World?"  Remember when she's in her cavern of treasures and she's singing:

"Lookin' around here you'd think (sure) she's got everything!"

But then she slips into her wants...literally says:

"But who cares, no big deal, I want more!"

picture courtesy at this link

I honestly swim in circles in my so called cavern of a house and think that...I want more!  I catch myself more these days and knock some sense into myself as I sit and list all that I have...I am so blessed!  I literally have it all!  I really do!

How often, though, do we sit around and look at our "Ariel Friends" around us and think "she's got everything!"  How often do we think or even say "I wish I had what so and so has" or "I wish I did that like so and so" or "I wish I looked like so and so?"

Well, people, I admit it right here.  Right now. As I sit in my messy kitchen, I'm one of those.  I used to really be one of those far too often and I still fall into that trap a little but I like to think I catch myself and count my blessings and see how wonderful Megan is plenty now.

Don't get me wrong.  Ariel was great to have dreams.  It's awesome she wanted to grow and learn and experience but she wished she was something she wasn't.  I literally picked up my four year old girl just now and told her to grow and learn but improve sweet Allison.  Find Allison's potential!  I told her:

"Allison, Heavenly Father made you so special on purpose.  He sent you here to learn about yourself, to love and improve yourself, and then to turn and help others do the same!"

One more thing...

Our dear beloved Olaf from "Frozen" came on next.  Yep, he taught me today too.  Remember when Mr. Snowman wants and dreams of being in Summer.  He pretty much had no clue whatsoever that it wouldn't work out for him.

picture courtesy at this link

We are so much like that silly Snowman.  Our Heavenly Father doesn't just sit back and think "we've gotta tell him!"  So sad that we don't realize that he tells us all the time.  He tells us that He will guide us, He will place us where we need to be, He will help mold us and teach us, trust Him!

Simply put...we gotta stop wishin' we are something we're not and stop wishin' we were somewhere we're not.  There is a specific plan for us.  There is a specific time line for us.  We need to seek out our Heavenly Father's plan for us and who he wants us to be.

Love Disney!

Thursday, March 6, 2014

My Angel Sarah

I have this little pain in my heart and tears that swell behind my eyes that have come and gone for years.  These little feelings pop up on days that my darling Sarah comes flying down the stairs from her bus after school with bandaids up and down her legs and her glasses askew. They're there on mornings when I drop her sweet little girl self off at school, or when I go to meet her at lunch and plop down on the lunch room bench next to her.  You see, there's usually quite a bit of room-- always a space between her and the other children.

That little pain was unmistakingly very present just the other morning as I pulled up into the Intermediate School parking lot.  It's a familiar feeling when I let her climb out of the car alone and watch her do her bouncy walk on the balls of her feet right over to where the other Math Camp kids are waiting to be let in the front doors of the school.  She always bounces right up to the other girls and I can see that those girls want to act right--probably try to be a friend, but just like me 20 years ago, just don't know quite what to do or say.  They sort of stop talking and have to shuffle a little to have her not so uncomfortably in their personal space.

My heart and eyes sting.  I may be grateful that there is much more understanding of special needs in the world today and yes, there are so many wonderful accepting kids out there, but the sting is there.  When I drop her off there isn't the same kind of other children running up to greet and play with her like my other children.  It's just different.  In so many ways a wonderful kind of different.  Justin and I are so aware as her parents that these little hard moments are surrounded by really wonderful, special moments with this unique daughter of ours but our hearts do get pricked by this familiar sting all the same.

So, yesterday we were sitting at the dinner table eating, chatting, talking.  Sarah looks at me and in her very loud voice starts to tell me about a girl in her special education class.  Lets call her Kate for the sake of privacy.  So, Sarah says: 

"Kate has no friends, Mom.  I be a friend.  I sit by her.  I play with her.  I eat lunch by Kate.  She no like other girls.  They not nice.  I be her friend!"

I tell you what,  my heart swelled with an overwhelming love.  A complete love that brought different kinds of tears swelling from behind my eyes.  What an angel!  My heart stings at times because other children aren't there for my girl and now today she tells me how she's that angel friend that this other special child needs.

She's like that you know.  My darling Sarah may not be aware she's in your space, may yell way down the street at you that you need to be at church, might hug your preteen boy til he's so red it's gonna stay for a year, might stop and touch every person in a wheel chair, might ask when your baby will be born even though you don't have a baby in your belly, ask you a million questions over and over, but one thing is for sure...she's an angel to people around her.  

She's aware of you...aware of everybody.  She loves everybody that surrounds her.  She really loves them and knows that everyone has something to be curious about.  We may think she's not very sensitive socially but I think she has a innocent sensitivity that ends up being the angel that particular people in her life seek.  No wonder that miracles have kept her on this earth.  

painting courtesy of this website

President Thomas S. Monson, the prophet at this time in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints spoke these following words and described this beautiful painting above:

"Children’s hearts are tender. They long for the companionship of other children. In the famous Victoria and Albert Museum in London hangs a masterpiece on canvas. Its title is simply Sickness and Health. Depicted is a small girl in a wheelchair. Her face is pale; her countenance reflects sadness. She watches an organ-grinder perform while two little girls, carefree and happy, frolic and dance.

Sadness and sorrow at times come to all, including children. But children are resilient. They bear up beautifully to shoulder the burden they may be called upon to endure. Perhaps the lovely psalm describes this virtue: “Weeping may endure for a night, but joy cometh in the morning."

Last night, I saw "joy" in my Sarah's eyes as she told me about sweet "Kate" from school.  I told her thank you for being a nice friend and she just beamed back at me.  I asked her how she felt inside and she said:

"I be a friend. It make Jesus happy I nice to {Kate}!"

Yes, Sarah.  It makes your parents happy.  It makes Jesus happy and look how happy it makes you!

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