Monthly Archives: January 2013

Trusting the Lord


You know, I usually think of trusting the Lord in the passive sense, meaning that I believe God will bless me and help me as I patiently wait for it to be His will and for when the timing is best for me, and any others concerned.

But as I’ve been reading the book I referred to in my last blog, Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Lorenzo Snow, I am reminded that I can trust, and in fact should expect to trust, the Lord in the active sense.  By this I mean that we can believe the things He says, and when we obey those laws and rules that He has set forth, we will reap the blessings He has promised.  And even moreso, I am feeling that I can have the desire to say and do things that will strengthen and help others, and I can expect that as I move forward, initiating an action in that direction, God will bless my efforts, fill my mouth, and enable my meager attempts at encouraging someone else to be magnified!

And these acts do not need to be huge, or grandiose.  Sometimes just opening my mouth or stepping forward is enough to begin with.  For instance, today on that shuttle ride from the parking lot to work, there were several people already on it when I boarded.  I found an empty seat and pulled out my book to begin reading.  But it was so quiet!  The Spirit of God nudged me, so I didn’t begin reading.  And after a minute I asked the woman I was sitting next to how she was doing.  She said fine.  I thought for a moment, and then said the thought that entered my mind, “When I started for work this morning it was pretty nice.  But when I got into town it felt so much colder!”  And the gal behind me spoke up and said, “It’s true!  It is colder here in town than by the foothills!”

This sparked a lively conversation between the 3 of us and even a couple others on the shuttle and we had a very enjoyable ride in to work!  And did some teambuilding in the process.  Again, not a big thing, but sure a nice way to start the day!

 

A Moment of Fame


English: Lorenzo Snow, 1898

English: Lorenzo Snow, 1898 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This morning as I was riding the shuttle to work from the associate’s parking lot, I pulled out the book I’ve been reading.

Teachings of Presidents of the Church, Lorenzo Snow is the manual we are studying this year in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  The men are learning about it in their Priesthood meeting, and the women in their Relief Society (the largest women’s organization in the world, I might add) meeting.  The Relief Society in our ward, or congregation, copied off the reading schedule and put it inside the front cover so we could always see which lesson will be studied that week, and they printed our names on clear labels and put them on the front cover of the manual so they could be sure that every sister (that’s what we call the women in the church) received hers.

So I’ve pulled out my book to read this week’s lesson, and one of my co-workers looks over to see what book I’m reading.  And then she notices my name on it.  It looks like it is printed on the book and she exclaims, “You wrote a book?!  Why are you here at work, shouldn’t you be in the Bahamas or something?!”  I laughed, and quickly explained that my name is on a clear label and explained why and that it was not that I wrote it.  Everyone on the shuttle laughed good-naturedly.  Then the one who’d made the mistake said, “And here I thought you were famous.”  I laughed and said, “Well, I am famous, but not THAT famous!”

 

To Be Or Not To Be…Is That The Question?


Throughout the media today was touted, “debate on gun control continues on 1 month anniversary of Newtown tragedy.”

Whichever side you are on in regards to gun control, there is a question that demands attention.  “To be or not to be” gun controlled, that is the question.  But, is that THE question?

Lawmakers and much of society is quick to jump on the bandwagon, demanding more gun control laws.  Is that really the only consideration to this situation?

I believe something else deserves even greater contemplation and deliberation to keep these events from happening.  Fortunately, there are still many people who practice this philosophy, despite society’s abhorrence for allowing ethics and morality to be a part of life.

Imagine a world where people treated each other respectfully, where everyone’s opinion mattered, and all were encouraged to do their best, to learn and to grow, and to develop a good character.  What would life be like in such a world?  How would people settle their differences?  How would they seek attention when they needed help, a listening ear, or a sounding board?  How would children be treated in such a world?  Would they be welcomed as priceless treasures?  How would neighbors act toward each other?  Would they chip in and help when their neighbor was ill, out of work, lonely and sad?  Would people be regarded as being of worth?

And what about those who chose to cheat, lie, steal, etc?  Would there be very many people who acted that way?  If they were taught all their lives to rise above these temptations, that they were of infinite worth because they are children of God, that all people are children of God and deserve to be treated with kindness and consideration, what would their lives be like?

What if lawmakers and society decided to reinstate these values?  They could encourage churches to help give guidance and support,  authorize schools to teach true diversity, and allow parents to instill ethical behavior.  What type of people would this produce?

I say it would give us a community that is safe, supportive, friendly, calm, and peaceful.  Unrealistic?

What are the outcomes of the choices society today has made?

Ah, The Sabbath!


I am so incredibly thankful for Sundays!

God, our Father in Heaven, quite specifically designed them for us.  The Sabbath is a blessing.  He created it to give us a break from our daily labors, and from the cares of the world.  The Sabbath is a day to remember Him, to renew covenants we have made with Him, to feast spiritually on His words, and to draw closer to Him.

The Sabbath is ordained for our use to pursue grander and loftier heights than we usually have the opportunity to during the other 6 days of the week.  It is a day to rest from our labors and experience enlightenment, encouragement, refinement.

For instance, yesterday I was starting to feel a bit discouraged.  Beloved hubby was not feeling well (so was a bit cranky), I couldn’t think of nice, uplifting things to write to missionary son (everything was coming out disjointed), discovered where the cat had decided to do her business in the house, and couldn’t get to everything on my list of weekend chores I’d wanted to accomplish.  😦

On the bright side, as I reviewed some of my journal entries from my own mission, I found some things to share with son; I settled in to helping meet hubby’s needs; cleaned up after the cat; and decided the chores that didn’t get done could wait until another day.

Today being the Sabbath I got up, dressed, and went to church.  Even on the way there my thoughts turned to appreciating the beauty of the world around me, the love of my family and friends, the joy I find in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and the hope that I will be able to become a little more like my Savior.

I love going to church.  There I learn more about Heavenly Father and my relationship to Him.  I feel His presence and bask in His glory.  His Spirit witnesses to me the truthfulness of all things.  I rejoice in Father’s goodness and mercy, and in His love for His children wherever they are.  I am amazed at how close He is to us and at the ways He blesses and helps us.  And I find renewed strength to keep trying, even though I am far from perfect, to change my life and live more as He wants me to.

Ah, the Sabbath!

 

Patient & Family Advisory Council


A patient having his blood pressure taken by a...

A patient having his blood pressure taken by a physician. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

I’m blogging early today because tonight I’ll be in my monthly, late-in-the-day meeting.  It’s the Exempla Saint Joseph Hospital Patient & Family Advisory Council (PFAC).

 

PFAC is a committee made up of staff, patients, family members, and interested community members.  They work together to work on or give guidance and suggestions for projects around the hospital that can more positively impact the patients there.

 

If you have ever been in, or had a family member in, the hospital or if you or a family member have ever worked in a hospital, you probably noticed that some things seemed disconnected or disjointed.  I have been on both sides (patient/family member and staff) and can attest to the fact that each has certain ideas about the other and not all of those thoughts are necessarily true.

 

For instance, when you are a patient at the hospital and the doctor says he wants to run a test to see if he can determine the cause of your ailment, you figure he will go out, order the test, and someone will take you right over to get the test done.  Then the doctor will have the answer.

 

But, what you as a patient don’t realize is that a hospital is not a single entity but actually more like a little city. The doctor will write the order for the test, which is then passed along to the department doing the test.  They have to work you into the schedule since there can be multiple patients getting tested there along with possible tests being done on people who are not patients but are coming in to the hospital to have that test also done.  Once you are on the schedule, you have to be taken to that department at the appointed time.  Some type of transport will be called for.  You go to have the test, perhaps there is some preparation you need so the test can be done.  Once you have completed the test, you will be taken back to your room.

 

Now the doctor gets the test results, right?  Perhaps.  And perhaps the test needs to be read or translated and transcribed onto a report.  Then the report has to be communicated to the doctor.  If it is not communicated to him by the time he wants to see it, he may have to call over to get the results himself.  Now he will communicate the results with you.

 

Each of these steps involves additional people and can take additional time.  So it can be later in the day or even the following day before you get the result of the test the doctor decided needed to be done for you.

 

And on the other side, the hospital (i.e. little city) figures that you naturally know that there are multiple departments (shops) involved in getting this test done for you and they will all try to do their best to work it in in a timely manner and to take care of each little step involved while still taking care of you and all the other patients, family members, and doctors, etc.

 

Anyway, I’ve long thought it would be a great idea for staff and patients to communicate with each other better so each understands the other’s viewpoints and issues.  The PFAC committee is a great step in that very process.  And especially since Saint Joseph is building a brand new building to move into, the committee has a chance to give input and work together on a variety of topics, including something as simple as what type of telephone to provide in the patient rooms!

 

 

New Year’s Update


A typical meetinghouse of the church

A typical meetinghouse of the church (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s one week since New Year‘s Day.  So how is everything going?

Traffic is back to normal.  😦

I have exercised on my Nordic Track for 30 minutes every day (60 on Saturday)!  🙂  I’ve done it in the mornings, by getting up a little quicker instead of taking my time getting up when the alarm rings – I didn’t set the alarm any earlier.

Still figuring out the best way to use my new calendar, but definitely making some progress on that front.  🙂

The fireplace has been sitting unused as the weather has warmed up a little this week.  Beloved hubby cleaned it out today.  Now it’s ready for this weekend when snow and cold (17 to 20 degrees for the highs) are expected.  😦 to 🙂

And I believe we still have marshmallows to roast over that fire!  🙂

I am enjoying this new blog, and the new features WordPress started have added quite a bit to my posts.  🙂

Goal-wise I haven’t set a bunch of specific things yet.  I might not.  I have exercised more.  I have also been reading a few minutes in the scriptures every day.  I do some morning stretches before I get out of bed, and once in a while some evening stretches before getting into bed, that I learned from the book “Stretching for Dummies” by LaReine Chabut and Madeline Lewis (I do hope to learn and incorporate more from them).  I am also re-reading the book, “Getting Things Done” by David Allen.  I discovered his book a few years ago and found it extremely helpful.  And I review it every year or so to improve how well I follow his ideas.

Church starts at 9am this year.  That’s a big change from the 1pm schedule we had last year.  But when you have 3 wards (congregations) using one building then you all take turns.  So we alternate the 9am-12pm, 11am-2pm, and 1pm-4pm schedules.  I don’t really mind that much.  I’m so thankful to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and my parents set such a strong example for me, that I will do whatever is needed and reap the associated blessings.  My testimony of the truthfulness of the Church is not dependent on when the meetings are held, who else is going or not going to church, or even if someone says or does something that I disagree with.  Which means that I am in a comfortable place, and feel at peace in my heart (even when everything around me is in total commotion!)  🙂

I’m still the pianist in Primary.  And with the new year all the primary children move up a class.  Most of the teachers are reassigned to different age groups than the one they last taught.  But they take it in stride and don’t mind too much.  When you feel inadequate to the job, you turn to the Lord and to the Primary Presidency and ask for help and support until you get the hang of it.  And it is fun to watch the children learn and grow.  And to see their siblings get old enough to attend and see how they are different and the same as their older siblings.  🙂

Yes, life is pretty good right now!  🙂

Fast Sunday


Today being the first Sunday of the month, is Fast Sunday.

Fast Sunday is a special day because members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints fast 2 meals and give the money they save to the Bishop (he is the person over the congregation) to use for the poor in the Ward (congregation).  It’s the Lord’s plan for taking care of the poor and needy.

But that’s not all.  It’s also the Lord’s plan for providing special blessings to us.  As we fast, we do it for a specific purpose.  Many times it is to receive a special blessing, to help us make an important decision, or to bless people we know who are having a difficult time in their lives.  We couple that with prayer, praying for that purpose or person as well.

In Matthew 17 in the Bible, a father brought his son to Jesus, asking Him to heal his son.  He told Jesus that he had brought his son to Jesus’ disciples and they couldn’t heal him.  Jesus healed the son, and His disciples came to Him asking why they weren’t able to heal the boy.  Jesus explained, “…this kind goeth not out but by prayer and fasting.” v. 21.  Jesus explained that adding fasting to prayer brings greater spiritual power.

I have experienced the blessings of fasting many times in my own life.  I know that this is a true and eternal principle.  When I’m going through a particularly rough time in my life, or when I want Heavenly Father to give a special blessing or some special help to someone I’m close to, I will fast for that.  The great thing is you don’t have to wait until Fast Sunday to fast.  You can do it anytime.  When I was on my mission, I often fasted every Sunday.

Other blessings we receive by fasting is strengthening our spirits (ever hear the saying, “the spirit is willing but the body is weak”?), feeling closer to God because we are concentrating more on Him than ourselves, and you appreciate your food more too.

So it was a good day!