Sacrifice

January 3, 2017

Yesterday I got a beautiful letter from my missionary daughter Sister Kailee Hogge.    She had an incredible week and saw an amazing  young man named Thomas become a member of the church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  It was probably one of the best days of her life.  She will never forget this experience and I believe that Thomas and Kailee will be friends forever.

I have realized that when one life is saved another person sacrifices.  It has been an incredible sacrifice to send my daughter on a mission.  I miss her laugh, her smile, her long baths in the tub and her incredible way of just being quietly still in my life.  She is my daughter, my dearest friend, my confidant, my side kick and the person in this life who probably acts and looks the most like me.  I miss her so much that somedays I can barely  breath.

However; she is healthy, happy, glowing on the inside and out and truly loving her mission.  This choice she made to go was her choice, not mine.   She wanted to do this and I have supported her 100%.  If I would of choose,  I would probably not of wanted her to do this. The natural man inside of me wanted her home.  I wanted to be able to hold her, hug her, see her beautiful smile and be able to just pick up the phone and call her whenerver I missed her.  The last time I saw her she clung to me like a rag doll and her tears were REAL.  The day I told her goodbye was one of the hardest days of my life.

It has been almost 5 months since she has been gone.  Each letter is tender, each email is precious and each time I get a text from a member in North Carolina my heart grows 3 sizes.  I believe that absence makes the heart grow fonder,  and my love for her has increased 3 fold since she has been  gone.

I have realized that every day someone loses a loved one, a friend, a sister, a brother, a spouse, a child.  A heart is broken and the pain is incredibly real.

One person can die and donate their organ to save a life.  One life is taken, another one saved.  Each day one person sacrifices their time, their talents and all they have to help another human being.  Whenever someone gains a great reward, someone has sacrificed something for that reward.  Life is a sacrifice.  Each time we give up a parking space, our last pork chop or the last doll on the shelf, someone is blessed.

The Savior of the world sacrificed his life so that we could have eternal life.  His life was perfect, selfless and he had no sin.  His sacrifice makes our sacrifices seem insignificant.  Yet, because of HIM and his infinite love for us, I can sacrifice the next 13 months of my life knowing that when I see my daughter again, many people’s lives will be changed and we will all have a better understanding of what the Savior truly did for us.

 

 

Survival

SURVIVAL                                    Dec 31st 2016

The word survival has several meanings.  It’s human nature to breath, to exist and to survive.

I am a infant swim teacher.  During the Spring & Summer months I teach infants, babies, & toddlers how to survive.  It is not an easy task, however; I love doing it.  It brings me safety, peace and a confidence knowing that I am helping teach a young person to be safe in the water.

I on the other hand , don’t always understand what it is to survive.   Sometimes I expect too much out of people and sometimes I don’t always understand how hard it is for them to just take the next breath.  Each life has meaning and purpose.  Each person on the earth is a Child Of God with infinite possibilities.

My challenge is to love myself enough that life becomes more meaningful, more joyous and more complete because I loved myself enough to make a difference in the world.

Some of us are meant to lead, some of us are meant to follow,  and I think some of us are meant to stand still and wait for the place that they fit in.  I don’t really want to lead, but I also don’t want to follow.  I want to be in control of me and believe that I am a good enough person to just trust God.  Leaders make mistakes and followers seem to lack courage.  I just want to believe that together with God by my side I can make a difference.

I do believe that the power of a good leader is not always striving to be first.   But there are those who are first to strive and give there all for the success of the team.  True leaders are first to see the need.  They have a plan, and empower a team for action.  By the strength of the leader’s commitment.  The power of the team is unleashed.

My goal for 2017  is to live more vibrantly.  I want to make enough difference in the world that if I were to leave a room, my presence would be missed.

Every morning in Africa, a Gazelle wakes up.  It knows it must run faster than the fastest lion or it will be killed…  Every morning a lion wakes up.  It knows it must out run the slowest Gazelle or it will starve to death.  However, I want to be the magical elephant who can teach the Lion to somehow survive without having to eat the gazelle and to teach the gazelle to feel safe around the lion and that it can get it’s food source from somewhere else.  Maybe it’s up to the gazelle to help another gazelle to teach him to run faster and to find a healthy food source.  It’s not always about who becomes first, but it is sometimes about who finishes the race with more dignity.

We’re all animals in this jungle of life trying to survive, however; if we live a higher law,  we can help someone else live more completely, by making it easier for them to survive.

We can sit on the sidelines and watch life pass us by or we can get on the court and make a difference in the outcome of the team.  If it is to be, it is truly up to me.  Sometimes the team that we choose may only be yourself and God.  However, with God, nothing is impossible😇.

Presence

December 28, 2016

Today I choose to be present in my life.  I choose to embrace today with power and strength.  I have come to realize that this very moment, this very second, this very minute is my life.  I have a choice to be present in my life.

We spend far too many days regretting the past, worrying about yesterday and so consumed with the future that today, the only day that really matters, gets swept under the rug.

I have chosen to be present today.  I choose  to be happy, to find joy in the beauty and stillness that surrounds me.  It is the dawning of a new day and  endless possibilities for an even brighter tomorrow.

I know God lives, I know he loves me, I know that no matter how tough some days can be, he will always love me.

There is a Primary song called “Keep The Commandments”.  It speaks of safety, peace and blessings.  There is an Incredible assurance from a higher source that keeping God’s commandments is like life insurance.  When we die, life insurance gives us a financial protection that brings peace in this temporal world.  However; keeping God’s commandments gives us a spiritual peace that money cannot buy.  The assurance that God is good, that this life is really only temporary,  and every choice we make down here determines where we will be up there.

Today I choose goodness, kindness, service, love, peace and an everlasting stillnesss that reminds me that if tomorrow never comes, the people who matter most in my life will know how much I truly love them.

Yearerday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift from God.  Today I choose my thoughts, my actions, my steps, my destiny.  Today is the beginning of endless possibilities.  Today marks the beginning of something that I can control. I am going to make it the best day it can possibly be.  First and foremost I will love myself, then I will put God first, my spouse second, my family third and those around me fourth.  I know that if I do this, I can truly be happy.

PAUSE❤️

I have come to realize that life is a series of events that either make us or break us.  Everyone goes through times where we wonder why.   Why am I going through this?  Why did this happen to me?  This is not anything I would of ever chosen and I just want to stop time.

I remember when I was a little girl I asked for a tape recorder for Christmas.  I loved to record my voice and I would pretend to be Howard Corsel and my brother was Mahabad Ali.  I would interview him and record our voices.  I was in my element and I thought being an interviewer would be fun.  I always thought I would be in front of people making them laugh and I had a strong desire to help people.

However, my life has taken many twists and turns.  I still have the same dream, but my path has taken a different course.

My husband, who I do love and adore, has different dreams than me.  He wants financial security and he WORKS ALOT.  On the outside it looks like I’m living the dream, but on the inside my heart hurts.  My heart yearns for a simple life.  A life where watching T.V. and laying by the fire are the best days.  A life where there are no airports, no back to back trips and a peace just knowing that when I wake up, my husband will be lying next to me.

I would just like to push the pause button in my tape recorder.  I don’t want to rewind my life, it’s been a good life.  However, I want no repeats.   I don’t want to fast forward it because that would make me older and wiser.  I don’t want to be any older or wiser than I am right now.  I just want to freeze time.   I want to pause my life, go into hibernation,  or just take a long, long Winter’s nap.

I believe that everyone has something we don’t want to face. Yet, life is full of tough meat, cloudy days and unsure futures.  I believe that my challenge is to see how I can keep my light from going out, even though I would rather not even turn it on.

Sometimes change takes every breath you breath and every step you take to a level that’s really uncomfortable.  I just hope that someday soon,  this will all make sense and a little silver lining will shine though my inner vessel❤️.

~THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD~

December 8, 2016

Mathew 5:16

“Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your father which is in heaven”.

what does it mean to shine your light?

Mathew 5: 14-15

“Ye are the light of the world.  A city that is set on a hill cannot be hid.   Neither do men light a candle and put it under a bushel on a candlestick, and it giveth light unto all that are in the house”

The light of Christ is enlightenment, truth and a calming enabling presence that comes upon mankind because of goodness.

Each person born on the earth has the light of Christ.  However, circumstances, actions of others, the choices we make and the fallen world we live in can often dim that light.

In the LDS religion light is the source of all truth.  In D&C 129:8 it speaks of the devil as an angel of light.  There are so many ways he deceives us. He is wise beyond anything we can ever imagine.  However, he is not wiser than the Savior.

As we celebrate this Christmas season, may all of our lights shine as bright as the noonday sun.

When  lights are strung on the Christmas Tree and one goes out, it matters to the Lord.  Each light that connects together represent the circle of light.   He loves all of his children.  It is through the light of Christ that we come to know true peace.

In our pleading moments, when we feel our light has truly gone out, we must remember our Savior who took upon all the sins and transgressions of all mankind.  He knows us and he loves us and it is through His light that we find true peace.

D&C 121:7-8

“My son, peace be unto thy soul; thy adversity and thine afflictions shall be but a small moment.  And then if thou endure it well, God shall exhort thee on high; thou shalt triumph over all thy foes.”

As each of us strive to be a light unto the world, may our goodness far surpass the evils in the world.  Even though at times your light may dim, it must remain constant in this ever changing world that we live in.

John 16:33

“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace.  In the world ye shall have tribulation:  but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

THE HEART

What does the word heart represent?  We see a heart and what do we think of?   The heart is red, vibrant, strong, and it is the lifeline to our whole entire body.  What happens to the body when the heart dies?  What happens to our spirit when our soul dies?  How many people have actually died from a broken heart?  What does the word heart actually mean?

In scientific terms the heart is an amazing organ.  It pumps oxygen and nutritious blood throughout our entire body.  Our heart is the size of our fist and expands and contracts 1000,000 times a day.   Each minute during the day about 2,ooo gallons of blood is pumped through our body.  When the heart stops beating, the human body dies.

I have often wondered how many times the word heart is used in the day?  We wear our heart on our sleeve.   We give our heart to another another human being.  Some hearts are so big they help thousands of people everyday.  Some are so small that they barely beat and every breath is just about survival.

We hear the term their heart is in the right place or they are the heart of the company or the heart of the home.

What happens when a heart gets bruised bumped or broken?  I truly believe when the emotional side of the heart is damaged it is extremely hard to recover.  Sometimes no matter how hard another person ties to heal a broken heart,  the stabbing has been too deep and true recovery may not happen in this life.

A skilled surgeon can fix a an artery, a hole in the heart, and we can recover from a physical heart attack with proper care.  However, the spiritual side of the heart is like cleansing the inner vessel.  The blood inside the heart becomes corrupt and damaged.  The blood may change colors and the thickening and thinning of the inner vessel changes from life experience.

Where is your heart today?  Was it heavy, was it weighed down, did it beat fast or slow or just exactly the way God would wanted it to beat?    Did your heart skip a beat because of something wonderful?  When you lay in bed at night can you feel your heart beating?  Does your heart and the heart of someone you love intertwine?  A lot of questions, a lot to consider?

My goal in the next in the next 14 months is to get a stronger heart.  When my daughter walks off the plane from her mission,  I know my heart will burst.  When my granddaughter Sydney sings the song from Frozen completely on key my heart will sour.  And when my husband Daren finally finds complete financial security and can be his own boss, my heart will expand at least 3 sizes.

How big is your wing span? How deep is your love? Does your heart ache when someone else feels pain?  I often wonder where will my heart be tomorrow?  They say where love is, there is God also.  Where  your heart is may be an indication of how close heaven is.  When one heart beats at the the exact same time as another, heaven and earth meet and the sands of an hour glass create an inner stillness that defies all gravity.

 

 

 

 

 

Taking Flight

img_0863

Today my thoughts are of an airplane taking flight.  The pilot is the guiding force making sure this plane goes to it’s correct destination,  it arrives on time, and that everyone is safe.

Many things can affect the course of flight.  The weather, the condition of the plane and the consistency of the pilot.

Every day  billions of people board a plane having faith that the pilot will take them where they need to go.  Everyday billions of people land safely and they arrive at their final destination.  However, once in a while we need a course correction.  Sometimes the plane is directed to land in a different place, sometimes the plane breaks down, and sometimes the plane even crashes.

I have often wondered , what plane am I flying in today?  Who is guiding it?  How do I land safely?  How do I trust that I will be safe at the end of the day?

What if the pilot flying your plane changed positions?  What if the co-caption took over the cockpit?  What if a wrong decision was made?  What if the plane that I am in runs out of gas?  Will I recover?  Will I be safe?  Will I be strong enough to withstand the crash?

So many unanswered questions and so impatient am I.  I believe that Christian people want their pilot to be Christ.  However, sometimes we choose a different pilot and a different course.

Today my flight was disrupted by fog, icy windows, turbulence and upheaval.  Today my plane was taken off it’s course.  Tomorrow I hope that the course is smoother, straighter and the destination will be more peaceful.

I believe that some days the best we can do is to just spread our wings and hover.  It’s in these moments when our plane rises to higher grouud that we can truly feel the wings of the plane supporting us.  Sometimes we feel like our plane stays in the taxi position longer than we would like.  However, to stand still and do nothing , is like looking out the window but never touching ground.   To stay in one place can ground us, but to move forward  in a positive direction can define us.  Sometimes it’s just being aware of the direction we are heading that can cause us to make a course correction.

I think the most important thing to remember is to just keep flying , even if our destination is yet to be found.

Martin Luther King once said:  “If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl but the most important thing to do is to just keep moving”.  My goal for tomorrow is to have enough faith to fly,  even though one wing feels broken.  I do know that even God loves broken things and broken things mend if we remember to just keep trying.

CHANGE

I’ve realized that life has a way of changing in the blink of an eye.  There is a time to be born, a time to die, a time to love and a time to fear, a time to be happy and time to weep, a time to be grateful and a time to feel numb, a time to move forward and a time to stand still.

Today I have a choice:  I can choose how I am going to handle change.  Change is what happens to us when we just start feeling comfortable in our own skin.  Change comes in moments when we least expect it, and change, if handled right can make us a better person.

Happiness is a choice and sometimes the hardest choice to make.  It’s easier to be sad, mad, frustrated, envious, afraid, anxiety ridden, and full of despair.  However, these are Satan’s ways.  He has no body, he has no future and  his number one target is bring us to his level.  If we have acted upon our weakness, then he knows them.  He will do everything in his power to get us to sink to his level.  He’s wise, a smooth talker and he knows exactly what to do to empower us.

The good news is:  Christ’s power is stronger, wiser and infinitely the only way to true JOY.  Light has more power than darkness, obedience has more power than sin and  goodness always is the better choice.  Are we ever going to regret being nice?   Are we ever going to regret helping someone?  Are we ever going to regret loving another person instead of hurting them.

Today it is my choice to choose  who I want to be?  The only thing I truly have control over is my thoughts and my actions.  If I can go to bed tonight knowing that I served God, that I did not hurt anyone and that my thoughts were more positive than negative, then I believe that is success.

Where love is, there is God also.  What kind of person am I going to be today?  The choice is up to me?  What story am I going to write today?  What person am I going to help today?  Fear is Satan’s worst tool, and fear is thinking of yourself more than others.

The true key to finding joy is to lose yourself in the service of another human being.  To truly become one with Christ we have to put Him first, our spouse second and others third.  If this principle is applied, peace will envelope our souls, happiness will come, but the true blessing will be JOY, because JOY is knowing that there is something far greater than this life.  This life does matter and the choices we make today do matter.  The greater choices we make today will determine the level of peace we will have in the next life. If we knew what eternity was really like, we would all embrace mortality with a way different perspective.

Sometimes our blessings come through raindrops, sometimes our blessings come through fear, sometimes its the sleepless nights that teach us that it is our complete dependence on Him that grounds us to a level of complete humility.

So for today, I choose to embrace goodness, seek for peace, and pray that maybe today will help me to be a better person tomorrow.

 

 

 

 

 

Windsong Boy

img_0781When I was in college I found a picture of the boy I was going to marry.  He was dark, His eyes were blue and pierced your soul to the very core of your being.  I cut a picture out of a magazine and hung it above my bed when I was in college. This picture has stayed on my mind for over 35 years.  He was the windsong boy and the advertisement said “you were always on my mind”.

Today is my anniversary.  It has been 33 years ago  today that I married my “windsong boy”.  When I met Daren I thought he was nice and every time he asked me on a date, I said yes.  He was a nice guy and spending time with him was a no brainer.  However, I knew I would never marry him because he did not look like my windsong boy. He was blonde and fair skinned and he was handsome, but he was not what my mind had pictured my husband to be.

thirty-three years have passed and I can honestly say that now he looks exactly like the “Windsong Boy”.   His hair is not that blond anymore, his skin has aged and the sides of his whiskers do have a touch of grey.   He wears grandpa glasses, his legs are still long and his eyes pierce my soul deeper than I ever imagined.  They say that your eyes are the window to the soul.  When Daren looks at me with a kindness that far surpasses beauty, time stops for a moment.

To see is to believe, to believe is to know, and to know is to love.  I’m not sure if loving him has made me a better person or knowing that he loves me solidifies that I am a better person.

I believe that somewhere in each one of us a masterpiece is being created.  I believe that once the clay was touched unbelievable things can happen.  When Daren touches me I am a better person, when he hugs me I feel safe.  When he kisses me the moon stares back and when he loves me all the planets align together.

Today I am a piece of clay being molded by another human beings soft arms.   I believe in the sanctity of marriage and I believe that every girl deserves to have a “Wind Song Boy” beneath their wing.

Angels fly with two wings,  but with an angel  like Daren you need no wings because he carries your burden and flys for you.

To love another person is to see the face of God.  I can only imagine what that will be like someday.   So for now, as I take this mortal journey with him by my side, the thoughts of eternity far surpass my wildest dreams😇

 

 

 

 

The butterfly

img_0587November 7, 2016

I believe that out of all the insects in the world the butterfly is the most mysterious, intricate and beautiful creature of all.  A butterfly represents growth, change and freedom.

A few months ago I was working in the yard and a yellow, blue, purple and green butterfly soured above my head.  For a moment time stood still and I wanted to capture this beautiful creature and freeze time.

I wondered what kind of caterpillar it must have been?    I wonder how long it struggled and how badly it wanted to break free.  I think in many ways we are wanting to be butterflies. Sometimes we’re just too afraid to leave our cocoon.  The caterpillar is a safe place to be.  It is one color, it stands alone and not many people notice it.  However, when the caterpillar decides to become a butterfly, amazing things start to happen.

There are about 17,500 species of butterflies throughout the world.  The exact number of butterflies is not known because there are so many different species.  It’s amazing how similar they are , but yet also so very different.

The butterfly represents love, peace, flight and most of all transformation.  I believe that all woman at one time or another dream of being a butterfly.  Mariposa is the term for butterfly in Spanish.  It’s meaning has a significance that creates fortitude and strength.

I have chosen to be a butterfly over the next 15 months.  While Kailee is on her mission she is going to change and evolve into the most beautiful butterfly that our family has ever seen.  Since she in the only female besides me in our family, I want to also become a butterfly with her.  I have set some goals that I want to accomplish before she gets home.  I believe that if I continue to achieve those goals that hopefully she will evolve with me.   A butterfly is only as good as the people it associates with.  I believe the more friends a butterfly has, the more beautiful is will become.  I also feel that the more the butterfly watches other butterflies, the stronger it will become.  The longer it stays in its cocoon, the more ability it has to face the world around it.  If a butterfly breaks through too soon, the cycle is interrupted and nature cannot create the beautiful creature that it was meant to be.

I believe that Kailee’s mission is the pupa or chrysalis stage of the butterfly.   The caterpillar’s structure is rearranged and broken down and its wings, body and legs start to develop into an adult butterfly.  To become a butterfly is not an easy task.  Their will be weather issues, food situations that may affect its growth and maybe even tiny delays in its development.  However, once these issues have been addressed and the butterfly is strong enough to break through the cocoon, a remarkable metamorphosis  will take place.

kailee has experienced friend issues, an unexpected tornado, bug bites and allergic reactions to long haired cats.  All of these little interruptions are helping her to become the butterfly she is meant to be.

Next Spring when I am in my yard planting the first flowers of the season, I know a butterfly will pass my way.  Butterflies are the heaven scent kisses of an angel.  When that butterfly passes over my head, I will know that the time is closer to seeing  Kailee again.  The  butterfly will remind me of the the picture of the young girl in the lavender fields that hung above her head when she was a little girl.  A butterfly kiss comes from heaven and when butterflies unite all of the angels in heaven take flight.  When butterflies and angels meet, it is the beginning of something magical.

When I go to bed tonight, I will dream of the butterfly that I want to be , knowing that my daughter has already taken flight.  Today my caterpillar will hold deep to the values that I have been taught my entire life.  When the time is right, the wings will begin to form and the strength of the butterfly will far surpass the test of time.

Love Wing 2

MOM