Sunday, October 26, 2014

The pulse of my soul

Last month I saw some information online about a survey about spirituality.  I clicked on the link to check it out and ended up signing up to be a part of their survey, and in the process to learn some things about my own spirituality.  For 2 weeks I received a survey via text twice a day at different times. 

From the beginning it was an interesting experience.  Just as I found while I was participating in the 100 days of happiness challenge, I was surprised at what I found when I was measuring different aspects of my spirituality multiple times each day.  One of the questions was always how close did I feel to God in that moment.  Many times I didn’t “feel” close to God at all, though I was able to always answer that I trusted that He has a plan for me and loves me.  On the other hand I was always able to answer high about feeling God’s love for me through creation, because that is something that is so consistent in my life.

I was also interested to see that what I listened to while I was in the car made a big difference in how close I felt to God.  I’m not in the car for big stretches of time here in Oregon—more like 10 or 15 minutes total.  But I found that while my brain was usually interested in listening to what was on NPR, my heart/spirit was always impacted positively when I listened to Christian radio.  I did this a lot in the first (sad) year that I was in Oregon and I was surprised at the comfort I felt from what I heard.  Once again I was surprised at what a difference 10 minutes of Christian radio could make.  The words of the songs were often inspirational to me, and the on-air conversation was also meaningful.  One day there was a scripture verse read from a non-KJV version of the bible that was so beautiful that I thought about it off and on for the rest of the day.

When the two weeks was done I kind of missed my little spiritual checkup every day.  And it made me resolve to work more on doing the little things that make a big difference. 

Just in case you’re interested, you can sign up at http://www.soulpulse.org/.  Enjoy!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Our new family


Tonight we went to IHOP for dinner. 
With our only child.

We are not used to this family configuration--it feels odd. 




PS--I celebrated the new normal by trying something new instead of my favorite harvest grain and nut pancakes topped with strawberries and whipped cream I got chocolate chocolate chip pancakes topped with whipped cream.  Delish!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Funny Boy

One of my favorite things about Josh is his sense of humor.  We are all people who are appreciative of humor, but Josh has the gift of a quick wit most of us lack. Case in point:

The keyboard on my computer is definitely aging.  From time to time one or another of it’s keys inexplicably stops working and I am left to blow and pound and hope that it will somehow start working again. 

Most of my keys have started working again in this way, but my backspace key just would not.  Finally I asked Josh, who is quite good with computers, if he could take a look at it.

He slipped the key off of the keyboard then carefully brushed around it, checking that at each contact point the key was working like it ought to.  They he tried to put it back on—but no matter what he did, the key wouldn’t hook back into the keyboard.

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I was working in the kitchen while he was trying to get the key back on.  Finally he came into the kitchen.

“Mom, you know how the keyboards of the future are just going to be plastic pads with little bumps for the letters?” he asked.

“Really?” I answered.

“Guess what.  You’re there already.”

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Sunday, October 5, 2014

Orchestration

The morning started out like many other days.  I got up, wished I could sleep about 2 hours longer, staggered into the dining room, and sat down with my tablet thinking that I would look at my email and then facebook, and then read my scriptures.  When I checked facebook right away I saw a really beautiful quote I’d never seen before so I shared it onto my page.  I didn’t have anything to say about it (which is unusual for me, right?) but I wanted to share it.  Then I stumbled across a video of a man playing a trombone for his cows in a field and that made me forget all about the quote.

I had a date with my curves friend that morning and at the right time I got up, grabbed my phone and purse, and started walking towards the front door.  As I did I happened to glance at my phone and saw that the green light was blinking so I checked my texts.

Power went out so I’m only waking up now, will be there in about 20 minutes,

texted my curves friend.  Since I only live 8 minutes away from curves this meant I’d just gained 12 more minutes before I needed to leave.  Sweet, I thought, I’ll go back to my tablet and figure out how to wash those new fleece sheets I got Jenna.  I woke the tablet back up and it was still on facebook.  As I went to minimize it so I could go do my fleece sheet care search, I noticed a somewhat odd post at the top of the facebook page.  It was from someone I didn’t know to a friend of mine and it just said “I love you.”

I started wondering about my friend.  She & I have talked many times over the last 5 or 6 years because she has been going through something difficult that I have also experienced.  I wondered if she was all right so I pulled up a chat window and asked how she was.  It turned out that she wasn’t doing very well and so for the next 15 minutes (yes I was late to curves) we talked online.  I wasn’t able to make anything in her life or situation different—but hopefully it helped for her to be able to talk to someone she knew would understand.  It certainly helped me to be able to be supportive in a difficult time for her.

At the end of our chat she told me that she’d loved the thing I posted on facebook.  I was stymied.  The thing I’d posted?  I’d posted a funny video with a trombone and cows.  What could she mean?  Then in the very back of my mind I remembered that I’d shared something else before the trombone video.  For the life of me I couldn’t remember what it even was.  I clicked my page on facebook and then I saw it.  The quote I’d really liked and shared—well, it was about the situation she was going through.  In fact it was perfect for that moment.

As I drove to curves I couldn’t shake the awareness of how the day had played out.  Sharing the quote on Facebook—and then forgetting about it.  The time delay that allowed me to see the post on her wall.  Being able to talk to her exactly in the moment when she had time.  It all seemed to me to be such an orchestration by Heavenly Father so that he could use me in a critical moment to help my friend.

I tell people all of the time that I have a lot of issues with prayer.  I’m not good at it, my prayer aren’t powerful, I don’t hear answers.  At the same time though, I can’t deny that sometimes my prayers are answered…and that sometimes I get answers to things that are on my mind that I haven’t prayed about.  I also struggle with the concept of personal revelation/inspiration.  It is so hard for me to distinguish between the voice of the spirit and my own hyperactive brain.  And yet from time to time I see conclusively that even if I didn’t hear it in the moment, I have done something that must have been directed by the spirit because of it’s precise perfection.

This was one of those moments.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Sights from the road

A few miscellaneous pictures from September’s trip:

Jared learned to pump gas.  (Can’t do that in Oregon!)

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The girls always try on awesome hats.

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What the floor of the passenger’s side looks like after a couple of days of driving.  Especially when we haven’t had access to any place that recycles.

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By the new Adobe site in Utah County—great street names.

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Harvest season in eastern Oregon and Washington:

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and

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I always appreciate a good sunset.

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We passed two accidents between Wyoming and home.  This one, and one in which the car ended up upside down in the center of a very wide grassy median.  I couldn’t even tell which side that car had come from.  Both accidents made me say a little prayer of gratitude for all of the safety we’ve had while travelling.

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A) What were these people thinking? and B) How on earth did they get up there to trim that thing? 

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C) it was behind a Wendy’s somewhere in Montana.  D) of course I had to take a picture!

I’ve heard that Montana is a beautiful state.  It must have gotten dark before we got to that part.  Though this part wasn’t too bad.

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Always one of my favorite sights as we get into the Colombia River Gorge.

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The front of the van was COVERED in bugs by the end of the trip!

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Tuesday, September 30, 2014

The back fence

Cindy Lynn requested a picture of the backyard today.  I thought I’d put it on here along with some pictures I’ve taken recently. 

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This year we planted clematis all along the back fence but they’re all still small.  So the dahlias have definitely been the stars of the backyard show.  Especially these yellow dahlias.  The rest of the dahlias were just planted this year so they were slower to start blooming but the yellow plant bloomed earlier and often.

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I also have some pinkish-purple dahlias. (Purplish-pink?)

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But my favorites?  Definitely these—almost as tall as me, and flowers as big as my hand!  I don’t know enough about dahlias to know why there are such color variations.

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My new policy is that any dahlia that blooms facing the fence or is otherwise not visible gets to come inside to beautify our kitchen.

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We have two really tall dahlias that still haven’t bloomed.  (Good news—I’m told that dahlias will bloom till a hard frost.  So we still have time.)  One is now as tall as the fence and one almost a foot taller.  It finally has a bud on it—can’t wait to see what it looks like!

BYUI

Of course the whole point of our trip was to take Josh to BYUI.  His decision to go this semester was relatively recent and I was excited to take the triplets with us so that they could see & experience a little bit of Rexburg.  (Although they didn’t want to go, and were only completely willing when I won tickets for them to go and see a taping of Studio C.)

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Our first day in Rexburg we all had a great time shopping for the things Josh needed at DI.  Then we went over to Walmart to find the rest of what he needed.  After that we checked him in at his apartment.  (Here he is holding the blanket my dad made & that I took a whole year to sew the stars onto.  I finished them while we were driving…nothing like leaving it till the last minute!)

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The next day we went back to Walmart for food and it was a ZOO.  I asked one of the workers and they said that in Rexburg, they do as much business on the Friday before school starts in the fall as they do on Black Friday.  Like I said, it was a madhouse and I was glad all we needed was food.

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We took the groceries back to his apartment.  At that point he was pretty much ready to go on with his business and he said goodbye to us. 

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I think that I was much sadder than he was…but at the same time I was excited for him to start this next part of his life!