Friday, June 25, 2010

June Roses

I was at the Chalk Festival the other day with a friend and we came to this drawing of Peter Pan.

It was also known as "The Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up." Anyway, J.M. Barrie, the playwright was once quoted as saying:

“God gave us memories, that we might have June roses in the December of our lives."

We all pass through Decembers of our lives whether it be the death of family member, a separation from a loved one, financial difficulty, stress from school, loss of employment, etc. The good news is, we still have our June roses...this one is for you:

Friday, June 18, 2010

Building Boxes

I was watching Forest Gump the other day and, any time that you mention that movie, there are a few quotes that are inevitably brought up:

"Stupid is as stupid does."
"Run Forest Run."
and of course:
"Momma says, life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you're gonna get."

I've come to the conclusion that not only is 'life like a box of chocolates,' life is also filled with other boxes and you never know what you're going to put in them.

As a child growing up each of the kids in our family had a 'big red box.'. It was one of those boxes where you put all of the stuff you wanted to keep...rather, it was a box where our parents put things they thought we would like to have someday.

I no longer have that box. I outgrew it. Now, I have many boxes. They vary in shape and size but their purpose hasn't changed, they still hold all of the things I 'will want someday.' To say that each item in the box represents a memory would not be entirely true...sadly, I don't remember doing a lot of what is in that box. There are elementary report cards, childhood drawings, old poems, and a host of other things that I have collected over the years. They all have my name on them so while I can't remember doing them, I'm pretty certain that I did.

These boxes are almost like time capsules that were never got buried...instead they were stored under beds and in garages. I'll be the first to admit that it is fun to look back and think about those days and that I'm glad that I have those things to help me recall those memories. I have not reached hoarder status, nor do I consider myself a 'pack-rat' but occasionally I find myself thinking, 'someday I'll wish I kept this or that' so I'll add it to the box.

But I have also found that sometimes I need a box to help me heal and in some cases to help me least for awhile. In addition to these tangible boxes that find their way under my bed, there are also the ones that I create in my heart and in my mind. I tuck things away until some future date when I can look back and not feel the sting of the 'red hot irons' of memory that those contents bring to mind.

It's like Rose Kennedy once said:

"It has been said, 'time heals all wounds.' I do not agree. The wounds remain. In time, the mind, protecting its sanity, covers them with scar tissue and the pain lessens. But it is never gone."

Some boxes are not meant to be opened again, and others we return to time after time...either way, within those boxes are all of the things that have made us into the individuals we are today. They have made us stronger and they help us remember where we have come from and point us in the direction we will go. Here's to my boxes and yours...cheers!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Refuge In Times of Trouble...

'Look At The Sky' was the text message I received from my friend...and, I immediately went outside to see the sky for myself. It was an amazing sunset, my grandmother would have liked.

Since it was such a beautiful night, I decided to drive to the Salt Lake Temple. As I wrote this, I was sitting next to the reflection pond listening to the water pour over the edges, there was a gentle breeze, and the lighted granite temple stood in stark contrast against stormy night sky. The only thing that made it better was the cool rain, and the intermittent lighting of the sky with lighting and the accompanying crack of thunder.

As I sat there, the words of Psalms came to mind:

"The Lord also will be a refuge for the oppressed, a refuge in times of trouble.
And they that know thy name will put their trust in thee: for thou, Lord, hast not forsaken them that seek thee.' (Psalms 9: 9-10)

The temple, like the Lord has always been a place for me to seek refuge from the storms of life. It is a place where I can forget my burdens and remember my blessings and tonight, as I sat in the light of the temple I was able to reflect on some of the beautiful teaching associated with it.

One such teaching is that of the special relationship that we have with our Father in Heaven and how it is essential for our happiness here. Through prayer I am convinced that we can receive guidance and direction in our David said, 'the Lord will not forsake them that seek him.'. In fact it is quite the opposite, He will be a 'refuge in times of trouble'.

There will be times when we may hear the Lord say to us:

'In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment...'

but then come the reassuring words:

'...but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee...for the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed..." (Psalms 54)

I once heard the phrase, 'Life is a heck of a thing to happen to a person.'. Each of us will face trials and tribulations, some of them will seem to be greater than we can handle. We also live in challenging times when natural disasters are abundant, economies throughout the world are failing, and wars are taking place everywhere. In addition to these temporal afflictions that we face there are spiritual ones with perhaps even great consequences.

In a world where variables are constantly changing, there is one invariable constant and that is the love of our Heavenly Father. He will be there to comfort in times of sorrow, lift up in times of despair, and guide us when we've lost our way.

We must seek refuge from the storm through prayer and temple attendance. I will end with a scripture that was shared with me by the same friend who told me to 'Look Up' that scripture is a beautiful promise:

'Trust in the Lord with all thine heart and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths.' (Psalms 3)

Let us not only 'look up' but let us also 'look to' the temple and the Lord to be our refuge from the storms that swirl around us. As I left tonight the storm clouds had disappeared, the wind had died down, and there was a stillness in the air...the storms of life will pass.