sidling up

Today God showed up in my life. He is always there hovering, but today He pulled up a chair and sidled right up against me. 

I felt Him sitting across from me when I ate enchiladas with my friend and talked about kids and grad school and other stuff.

I also felt Him when I stayed up until 11 pm talking to old friends after book club. We talked about friendship and trust and decency. 

And then I thanked Him in my prayers and we said goodnight to each other. 

my take on audio

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The Boxer (with chat)

my journey

I spent the week thinking about my process. My journey. 

I had the assignment of speaking in stake conference about filling that journey with hope and joy.  I had to think a lot about the warm blanket of regret and guilt that I sometimes snuggle up under.  Man, that gets comfy. 

In Isaiah we read that with joy we are to draw water from the wells of salvation (Isaiah 12:3). 

The bucket of faith.  

The rope of grace. 

Sometimes we can pull it up on our own.   Sometimes we line up at the rope with people in front of us.  People behind us.  Whatever it takes. 

But here is my key -- let each day be a new beginning. 

My life is not one big arc, but a series of many many small ones. 

i am all of these

I remember the first time my sweet grandmother (or Vo, as I called her) told me the story of her parents courting through the window of her mother's home for a full year.  My great-grandfather was not allowed in until that time had passed and his intentions were legitimate.  "This was the way in the old country," she said.  It was romantic to me.  The effort that went into winning her over.  When you know these things about your roots they are YOUR stories too, and you are able to think of yourself as much older than you appear on the calendar.  

I am little ladies with kerchiefed heads, and farmers who keep pigs.  I am hard-working immigrants who toil in woolen mills and tend to my children after a long day.  I am women who are devoted to family and culture. I am all of the people who have come before me.  This is my story.  

And this is why I am so excited about the Story @ Home Conference that is being held March 9-10 at the Joseph Smith Memorial Building and the LDS Conference Center in Salt Lake City.  The event will be sponsored by Family Search and Cherish Bound and will be all about getting your story told.  No, it is not just an event for LDS people.  Many from all over are already buying tickets and making plans to come.  Trust me when I say it will be so worth your time.  Come and be a part of it!  Telling stories about your family is like figuring out who you are.  This is meaningful stuff, and I am excited about attending.  So, if you are a genealogist, a blogger, or simply someone who would like to become one of these mark your calendar now.

For more buzz about this event click here to visit the facebook page for the conference.  Or click here to register right now!

hunting for harriet

My good friend died a couple of months ago.  I cried for a few days and then sang at her funeral. Since then I find myself driving past her house and staring at the dark inside, where so often I would see her silhouette shuffling around or watching a BYU game.

My friend was 95 and her name was Harriet.  

On my way home from running some errands today I decided to wander through the local cemetery to see if I could feel her somewhere. I remembered how we hugged every time we saw each other. I remembered how she pitched in to the ward mission fund for our oldest missionary while I was back in school. I remembered dropping in every March 22nd to say happy birthday.  I never found her headstone, but I think I found her. 

She was sitting right there in my sentimental heart. 

think tank

After all of the presents and the food and the speaking in church on Christmas day (yeah), we packed up our car and drove down to Phoenix where we helped to celebrate the 50th wedding anniversary of our good friends Benny and Willa Knudsen. I met these people 30 years ago when I was in high school and they have loved me ever since. Even when my engagement to their returned missionary son busted up, they would call me and see how I was doing. They sent letters and packages and love. One of the coolest things about them?  They love my husband like a son. 

It was warm in Phoenix. There was swimming and long walks and citrus. Glorious stuff. The down time was good. The big soft king-sized bed in the house we rented was fabulous. Time with the family.  The pool. The temple. All awesome. 

Those 22 hours of the round trip also was good. I slept in the back seat with my son's head in my lap.  I listened to a Terry Pratchett audio book. And I thought about things. What do I need to do to be even happier?  How can I help my husband?  What is the best and most appropriate way to be supportive of my married son and his sweet wife (and upcoming baby!)?

It is good for the head and heart to re-examine. It is good to have a forced time to do it. 
With the Knudsen family who were celebrating their 50th anniversary