Saturday, October 27, 2012

Random Thoughts

Ideally, I like my posts to be spiritually uplifting. Sometimes (perhaps many times) that does not happen. Today is not going to be one of those spiritual posts. I simply feel like writing. Perhaps my fingers are itching for NaNoWriMo and want to get in there and write. :)

I had a dream when my oldest was about a year old. Her father and I were at a baseball game. It was actually across (west) from where the baseball/T-ball diamonds really were in waking life. (This was in a rural area, by the way. The baseball diamond is outside of the town.) Suddenly, there was an earthquake and the earth split. There was chaos and destruction. My spouse had been holding our daughter, and they were on the other side of the split. I could not find them, and I was panic-stricken over not being able to find my daughter.

Well, I think I've been reading too many threads on internet forums about the alleged George Albert Smith prophecy (which actually, quite well, fits prophesies in the scriptures, near death experiences, and so forth). When that daughter graduated from a college in another state recently, the dream kept coming back to mind. I was concerned that something drastic would happen in our society to prevent me from seeing her again. I certainly didn't want her to go with her father (he has been dead for three years).

She was going to return home, but changed her mind. I tried to convince her to come, at least for a visit, during those prophesied times (major holidays). But I had to let it drop. It is her life, after all. And I figured I was probably "loony tunes" for thinking that the prophecy might be fulfilled this soon. Well, not too long ago, she changed her mind again and is planning to return to us after all. I expect she will not want to live with us long, but as long as we have her during those holidays, that will suffice for me.

Most likely, nothing really bad will happen here in the west, and I have just been on forums too much lately.

Still trying to acquire the faith to survive the prophesied bad times. Food storage only works if you haven't used it by then. Or - maybe - we are already in the bad times, the times of needing to live on food storage with people losing their jobs and so forth, and we don't know it. Perhaps we have been looking forward to something "big" - something that is so bad we have to defend our food from the "zombies" and the "zombie apocalypse." Perhaps by that time, no one will have a storage left and we will have to rely on God or take up our sword to kill and eat our fellow-beings.

I think our perception is quite skewed in many areas. I would just like to know exactly where I, personally, am skewed so I can stop believing lies and begin to believe only truth.

Random Thoughts

I may make this a private blog. I don't know. I want to put my private musings here, sometimes.

I have gotten over the "feel like I will die if I don't drop French." I don't really know what was happening there. I was convinced I'd flunk the test that was coming up. I felt like I could not comprehend any more, that I was overloaded. The test turned out to be doable, and the feelings vanished.

If I had "all the time in the world" I would take French 101 again next semester. Then the next year, I'd take 102 two semesters. The next 201. The next 202. In the meantime, I'd take Spanish 101 next semester, as well as next fall. Doubling up like that would help me learn more thoroughly.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012


Hm, hardly anyone comes to this blog. Probably because I don't write much on it. It was going to be where I shared my stories freely and without cost, but I found the format of a blog was not conducive to reading stories.

I tried linking to google docs, but no one was looking at them. So, here it sits. A lonely blog. Perhaps I should think of more alternate hymns and post one a week or something. (I'm not really the personality to do that. I'd post when I had one or when the mood hit. Thus, one week might have one post, a different week none, and another about ten.)

French is driving me nuts. I wanted a simple "conversational French" and got talked into French 101. 6 chapters. Test on chp 4 is here and my brain is fried. I love playing with languages. "Playing" is the key here. Tests, graded homework, stress are not part of a fun learning experience for me - especially when the person correcting the homework or tests is not always correct. Also, speed and hurry-hurry-hurry, complete with deadlines (tests) don't jive with my core.

At the same time, conversational Spanish wasn't working for me, so I opted for the college's Rosetta Stone. when I checked into it, I was not told the time commitment difference between the 1, 2, and 3 credit classes. I signed up for the 3, then found the time commitment was far too much, especially with the French 101 I was concentrating on.

At the moment, the only class I have is French (and I'm feeling like a real loser for dropping two of the classes I did). Sigh. Will I ever figure out who/what/etc. that I am? I suppose I'm one of those "lazy" ones who cannot stick with things. Barbara Sher would call me a "scanner" because I do one thing for a while, then I'm ready for something else. But how can one make money doing that? And we could use the money.

D'ja ever feel like you don't really belong in this world? Like what gives you power and strength is rare and difficult to find, while what saps your power and strength is in over-satiating abundance? I can't be the only one craving the lifestyle I crave - but am I the only one not smart enough to find a way to live it?


So, a person or two have wondered what I look like. Tonight, I discovered a picture taken with my daughter when I turned 55 this summer (July). That's the newest photo I have of myself that can be loaded onto a computer. I'm nothing to look at. Can't see the smattering of white hairs I'm getting, but I assure you they are there.

Also, the photo on my blog is of me (left, long hair) and a friend. The photo was taken - oh, I'd guess maybe 8+ years ago.

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Another blog I'd recommend

This blog was brought to my attention this morning. I have read one post in it so far, and it brought me to tears - tears of hope. It is called, "The Perfect Day."

Home Teachers

Home teachers are people who are assigned to pretend they care. Some keep up the pretense rather well. Most do not. Some never bother to show up. (Most of mine have shown up.) Some say they will show up, but never do. (I've had my share of these.) Some offer to help, but never get around to it. Some become genuine friends. (I had one of those right after I got back from my mission, years ago.) Most (that I have had) are polite, putting in their time for whatever reason.

I think this is the major reason. Pushing for that 100%. You can usually tell these. They are the ones who call (or show up) within the last few days of the month on a consistent basis.

This is what is done in the church, therefor we do it. We think we know why. We honor Brigham Young for beginning this inspired program. (But, then, we have no idea what it was that Brigham Young actually expected the men to do, nor do we know that it was not popular, because the people did not like the idea of such invasive questions.)

These are the ones who feel compelled to have 100% home teaching. The visits are superficial (most home teaching visits are, anyway, in my experience – no matter what category most of them fit into). They may be at the end of the month, at the beginning, or any points in between. The impetus is to put on a face to the world (church) that theydo 100% home teaching, that they are righteous and holy. Perhaps they are striving to go up the ecclesiastical ladder.

I think men are less prone to this factor than women, but this is definitely one. Gonna be punished. Gonna look bad. Who knows when these home teachersshow up. They may get home teaching done quickly just to say it's done.

I have had home teachers who:
were genuine friends before they were assigned -
became friends because of the home teaching position -
set up a time and date, but never showed up (they followed this pattern on a regular basis) -
came, and we had stilted conversation before they got to the crux of the meeting – a lesson in a magazine that I could read for myself (and probably already had) -
helped us with things we genuinely needed -
helped us grudgingly -
helped us, apparently willingly.

My favorite home teachers.

The one after my mission came because he was assigned. In other words, he didn't know my roommate and myself before this time. But he seemed to genuinely care. We had “real” conversations.

Then there was the one who would set appointments, but only showed up for the first one. I don't know how much he genuinely cared, but when we needed him, he was there. This includes the formidable task of moving us from southeastern Arizona to southwestern Utah – freely and without complaint or hesitation.

In northern Arizona, we rented from a man and his wife. Very low rent ($300 a month). When we moved in, the kids and I helped finish a room that was being added onto the trailer we were renting. For that, we got free rent for at least a month (maybe two).

And, he made me a deal: I could work for him to pay for $100 of the rent each month. He was writing a book, but he was mostly blind. He could not type because of lack of feeling in his fingertips. I worked for him 12 ½ hours a monthas his eyes and as his typist. (He was not physically well enough to do more than a couple of hours of work at a time.) When my niece died, he lent me money to get up to the funeral (another couple lent me a car, because mine was not good enough to go that far, in my opinion. They were neither home nor visiting teachers). I paid him back through work.

Soon after I moved in, he told me that they had assigned him as my home teacher. He asked if I'd accept him as my home teacher. When I told him yes, he asked if I wanted a monthly visit. I told him, “No.” If he was there when we needed him, that was enough. And he wasthere when we needed him, both he and his wife. The amount of help they gave us was incredible, considering that he kept calling himself, “useless,” because of his poor health.

We called them Grandpa and Grandma. They had had a toddler killed in a car accident years before (a drunk driver hit them). She had been born a year afterI had been born. They “adopted” me, and told me I was the replacement for that child. Not exactly, because one cannot replace someone who was lost, but this was their view of myself and my children. They even took me to her grave and showed it to me. They had many children, by the way. All of the childrenwere grown by the time I met this couple.

I wish I still lived in that area. I would love to be going over there, helping Grandpa type his latest story. (He had been typing a history when I moved into the trailer, but by the time I moved out of that area, long after moving out of his place, he wasworking on historical stories.)

Their hearts were “as big as all outdoors”.

I don't like “lessons” from either home teachers or visiting teachers. I don't think God ever set up a program of people mechanically teaching or of being assigned to care. I believe He can and has used the program to help those who need help, but that's only because we are not living Zion.

If we were living Zion we would not need to be assigned to care. We would naturally care. We would notice those who needed what we can give, because we would be open to the Spirit pointing those people out to us. I have had such people come into my radar when I was in a position to help. I have also been on the receiving end of such help. Even now, some people who were truly inspired to help us have been pulling me out of the pit of despair with their very real help. I don't even know these people in real life. They are internet friends.

I suppose my point in all of this is that we should be living in a way where “assigned friends” are not necessary, where we are living in such a way that God brings to us those we can help in whatever way their souls ache. We should not have to teach someone a monthly lesson. Instead, we should be loving them and praying for them. They can (and should) study the scriptures for themselves, forgoing the middle-men to God. We should help because of the love of God that resides in our hearts.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Understanding the Gifts of God in the Church

In Mount Zion has a guest post that is awesome!

I will paraphrase a little, but seriously go to that blog and read the post.

Some of us are frustrated, the post says, because of some of the things we see going on in the church. He says that seeing this is a gift that is surely meant to be cultivated by diligent study. There is a tension created when those who see this try to force others to see. Then he says, "We often think of those around us as being asleep, but they are awake in other ways."

Seriously, read the post.