Thursday, March 31, 2011

Day 434, Something You Need to Forgive Someone For

There really isn't anything I can think of.....

A very long time ago, in a lifetime far, far, away.... I discovered that if I want to be forgiven for all of my mis-doings---be they sins of commission or omission, then I need to speedily forgive others. This includes those who have wronged me---or someone I love. Knowing that, believing that, is one thing, but when it comes to your children, it is a very difficult principle by which to live.
Elaine is someone who hurt my children. Forgiving her has been a particular challenge for me, but I believe that ship has finally sailed. Time has a way of doing that.

It really all boils down to mercy.
I am a huge fan of mercy :-)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Day 432, Something You Have to Forgive Yourself For

Nothing. Truly.

Forgiveness is required of all of us....including forgiveness of self. This is easy for me to say now, after years of struggling with guilt, but only because I am finally beginning to understand God's infinite love. 

So, instead of answering this prompt as it is written, I will tell you something I had a difficult time forgiving myself for. The "first thing that comes to my mind" in response to this prompt is my divorce. Naturally, after thinking it through, I can come up with several things that are less cliche' and definitely more profound, but there it is.

Now, don't get me wrong. I am exceedingly fulfilled, happy, and content with my life. But that fulfillment came with a heavy price tag. That's the nature of the beast. I regret that innocent lives were turned upside down and tender hearts broken as a result. Thankfully, the story didn't end there. God, in His infinite wisdom and grace, knows how to rebuild hearts, homes, families, lives.

It is said that which doesn't kill you makes you stronger. My family is evidence that this is true. My children survived...In fact, they are like the Phoenix---they have overcome and risen above the wreckage. They are strong and determined, and their faithfulness is a constant source of inspiration to me.

I believe that mercy and grace go hand in hand. Forgiveness is a product of mercy, salvation a product of grace. God is the source of both. When you understand these principles, forgiveness is no longer optional; instead, it is the natural fruit born of faith.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 431, Something You Love About Yourself

Today's prompt is perhaps even more difficult than yesterday's prompt, only for very different reasons. After all, we spend our whole lives being told that we should not toot our own horn; it's just wrong. Right. And yet, we are also taught that before we can love others, we have to first learn to love ourselves. So, I say, "Toot away!"

One thing I love about myself is my feet. They aren't too big, they have a nice overall shape, they are feminine, the nailbeds are even, the length of my toes descend in perfect proportion, and my arches have just the right amount of curve. All in all, I would say my feet are sexy...especially when freshly manicured.

Hmmmm. I like this game. May I go on? Oh, don't worry, I'm just kidding. Afterall, there's a time to toot, and a time to refrain from tooting ;-)

Hahaha.... I crack myself up.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Day 430, Something I Hate About Myself.....

How is that for a headline?

I am taking up the challenge to do the "30 in 30" blog posts. It was a little bit of a let down once I met my blog a day for a year goal, and since then my posts have been spuratic at best. So,,, here goes.

Day One---The prompt is "Something you hate about yourself."

This is NOT getting off to a good start in my book. I mean, really..... I am almost 50 years old.... how is that prompt even fair? 

The truth is, the older I get, the less I find to "hate" about myself. I am just so grateful to be alive, healthy, and happy, that to focus on the negative makes me feel like I am whining. That said, something I hate about myself is that I forget the little things in life that mean so much to birthdays. I'm horrible at that! I have all the good intentions in the world---send a card, a note, a phone call, good grief---a text for pete's sake. It is the little things that let people know they are important to you, that you care, that you have their best interests at heat. I know this, but inevitably, I become so wrapped up in my own world, so focused on everything that is going on in "Mindyland," that I forget to put others first.

There is a scene in "It's a Wonderful Life" where Uncle Billy has to tie strings around his fingers in order to remember things, but he forgets what the strings are there for, and he ends up missing George and Mary's wedding. Whenever I see that scene, there is a little part of me that cringes. It just hits a little too close to home.

So yeah, that is one thing that I hate about myself.

Till next time....

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Day 429: This is the house that Jack built....

Granted, this may not look like much, in this picture, but seeing these "sticks" made my heart swell---like the Grinch, it grew, and grew, and grew. I don't really know who "Jack" is, or why he decided to build a house. No. When I look at this picture, I see the house that God built. Okay, obviously he isn't done yet, but that's just the point, isn't it?

When I uprooted my little family and moved to Temecula, we were all broken vessels. My children had suffered through a painful divorce, parents who could no longer be civil to one another, a father who had decided that it was best if he was out of the picture for a while, and a mother who had no clue who she really was, or where she was going. To make matters worse, they were being torn from their grandparents, the only stable force in their lives, and away from their friends. The final icing on the cake was that their mother married someone new---someone who would hold them to high, perhaps seemingly unreasonable expectations, and then dig his heels in when they resisted.
That is a lot to ask of young children.

So, Ron and I bought a home. It was a dream home by our standards....lovely views, cul-de-sac, and affordable. It was the absolute best we could do with what we had. It was enough. It was the beginning of life as we know it.

Nine years later, here we are. No more broken vessels. And we are buying a new house---one that is under construction as we speak.
Here it is today.

My daughter believes this house is symbolic of what God has done with us over the past nine years. He turned us into a family. She shared this quote from C.S. Lewis, which I believe says it all:

"Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently He starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seems to make any sense. What on earth is He up to? The explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of. Throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were being made into a decent little cottage: but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live in it Himself." - C.S. Lewis.

This is our palace---For now. Symbolic of God's work with our family so far.

I can't wait to see it finished.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Day 428: "Men are that they might have joy."

My Missionary Son :-)
My Son the Elder

So, it has been a month and a couple days. Why is that? Certainly not because there is nothing to say!! On the contrary, there is far too much to say. That, you see, is the problem.

There is big news on the home front---We are moving in June. As soon as my darling daughter sends me the C.S. Lewis quote that I somehow sent to cyberspace, I will post a very profound message, with an update on the progress of our new house. I am looking forward to clearing out the clutter and packing for the move. Yes, you read that correctly. It won't be easy; afterall, we've been here for nine years. Nine years. That is the longest I have lived in one house since the days of my childhood. Telling. But more on the house saga later.

Change seems to happen in clusters. In the next few months, I will change homes, change jobs, and my book will be released (finally). My son is serving a full time mission. My other son is working hard at BYU. My daughter has an awesome job and a very handsome hottie that gets hit on by waiters. My other daughter is driving and will be the district representative for her school next year. My mom and dad are cute as can be. My husband keeps a perpetual smile on my face. And my friends make sure I eat lunch at least once a month---so they can see something besides the back of my head (inside joke there).

All this, and General Conference less than two weeks away. Then, to top it off, Women's Conference is just around the corner, which means a trip to Utah for me...and time with Raechel and Andrew.

The sun is shining, the grass is green, my sweetheart loves me, and my car is clean.

Come on, what more could one ask for?

(A best-seller)----Did I say that out loud?