Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Beauty of Skype

This is the wonders of Skype! What wonderful technology we have, I can see and interact with my children and grandchildren far and near!!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Never a truer statement!

"Generally speaking, the most miserable people I know are those who are obsessed with themselves; the happiest people I know are those who lose themselves in the service of others. By and large, I have come to see that if we complain about life, it is because we are thinking only of ourselves." *Gordon B Hinckley

So if I'm really sad, must be I'm too into myself!

Kathy Jensen's signature laugh - transcribed

Okay here is the real antidote to depression!!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Holidays and depression.

Holidays and depression! I guess I can really understand why so many people feel bad at this time of year. The doctors say it is a sense of LOSS. That loss can be anything such as, Holidays reminding us of what we are missing out on, or, longing for the company of those we miss, or loss of a dream whether it is trivial or profound. Things like that.

They say it is a disparity between reality and our expectations that defines the depth of our sadness. Our expectations are high, and our reality is far from it on the other side of it. So it becomes a serious letdown. This is really true in just about any time of life or time of year.

It seems movies give us this sense of fantasy and that our dreams are too often mere fantasy, and our wishes could never come true. I think this may be true.

So what do we do?

Stop setting expectations so high, so you'll avoid disappointment. Boy is that the truth. I think I may do this sometimes.

Adjust your hopes and dreams to a realistic level, then they have a chance of coming true.

Adjust your expectations in your relatives who may come to visit, let's face it, we all have some kooky relatives in our families and what we should do is just love them.

So, do you have an unrealistic sense, I suspect we all do to some degree. Let's just enjoy the reason for the season I guess, and that is the birth of our Savior who has laid down his life for everything we have done incorrectly, our poor judgement, our transgressions, and our sins. And remember that imperfection is a reality.

This was a very interesting article.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Going up!

I truly wish I was as techy as my kids are with postings and pictures, and, well, just about everything in this tech world! BUT I'm not. I should try to find a picture to enahnce this post but, Oh well, such as it is, I just want to post a wonderful experience Mike and I had tonight.

Going to the Temple.

Especially at this time of year! We both are so so busy with school and the Brown Santa Claus that we usually don't have the time nor the energy to do one more thing. But this year we want to make sure we go. So we made the decision at 5:30 p.m. to go and off we went by 6:15 p.m. And it was glorious!

The sweet, clean smell of the air surrounding the Temple, next to that gorgeous mountain was so blissful. Walking UP the walkway, up to the mountain, was so symbolic. The seeing of many faithful people, young and old, going and being replenished, recharged and rejuvenated for the "living in the world", was so appreciated. But the most wonderful feeling always comes from being inside, away from the world, and in the warmth of love of a familiar feeling, and that is the loving arms of Father in Heaven and His Son. I feel their presence and I always learn so much, especially when we do sealings. Tonight it was sealings again, of 12 names from my Dad's side of the family.

Mike and I always leave feeling kinder, more helpful, more loving than when we entered and for that I keep making a promise to myself and to each other, we must go there more often than we do. It changes you. Changes us for the better.

So, as we left, I said to Mike, "the adversary does not want us here to find out the truth. And the truth is, this gospel is TRUE and every promise and covenant in it is true! And each time we go, these truths get in us more and give us the strength to deal with the adversary!"

I Love the Temple, it changes me! And I feel great gratitude for it!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Through Heaven's Eyes Brian Stokes Mitchell with the Mormon Taberancle C...

Oh my goodness, someday we will get tickets to hear these concerts!! Love the Christmas Season!! It lifts my spirits to heaven! I'm so grateful to be a singer!! Love this Baritone!!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

What's to come?

Boy oh boy, we are getting those tax cuts for another two years, child tax credit, and estate tax. Thank goodness! The economists are speaking out with a positive view of the next two years! For once!! But Obama looked defeated. But he had no choice he HAD to listen to the voice of the majority. Obama has been behaving like a spoiled child! Stomping around until he would get his way until the people would give into his whims! Feeling sorry for himself when he didn't get what he wanted and then intimidating those who didn't agree with him and his cronies until again they gave in to his whims and demands! Looking all dejected and behaving so so childish. What do we have at the helm? It is scary AND unbelieveable to see THe immaturity running this country.

I'm so grateful the people went out and voted and were heard! Seriously, we had to put our foot down and get involved. Because raising taxes would have surely killed us all next year with a certainty, especially our children and their families. I have lived through this type of immaturity before, the Carter years actually, and our family along with many suffered for a very long time, and it wasn't until just within the last 5 years we have recovered from that bout in the early 1980's.

But we are part of the problem, if we allow this to happen, and I say allow, they will always get their way. So both ends need to change. It looks like the days of the Book of Mormon when the Nephites were completely destroyed because they allowed the gadiantion thinking, they turned their heads and did nothing.

So now, let's see what will happen next.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Our ownselves we must overcome!

This is from Meridian Magazine---December 7, 2010! ENJOY!!

We have a lake near our home where we love to walk in the mornings. One day I was headed out the door alone to go the lake when my daughter asked, “Who will you talk to while you walk? Won’t you be lonely?” “Oh, no,” I answered, “I’ll just talk to myself.”

The truth is I couldn’t help but talk to myself. You talk to yourself all day long, an endless monologue, a jabbering that doesn’t stop. You open your eyes in the morning and the talk begins. You brush your teeth, you eat breakfast—the complete routine of the day—is all accompanied by this voice in your head.

If someone were to ask you, what mortal has had the greatest influence on your life, you would have to honestly answer that you have, by what you’ve told yourself all day, every day. You have been your teacher, your mentor.

You have been the one who cast judgments on all that you’ve seen. You have interpreted what reality is. You have written the story of your life in this personal soliloquy. You have built an entire sense of what the world is like.

The critical question for you is this: Have you been a good teacher? Have you seen clearly?

You would never want to sit in the classroom of a teacher, even if he were very noted at a prestigious university, if he taught you inaccuracies, if the window he shone upon the world were skewed or distorted. Under his influence, you would not want to learn to look through a glass darkly.

The truth is you trust the monologue in your head even more than the noted professor. Most of us are quite certain that the way we perceive things is the way they truly are. You’ve reinforced your view of reality not once, but over and over, until you are convinced that your interpretation of things is right. You are the trusted lens on yourself and on your life. Your attitudes and outlook are the rightful consequence of having seen things clearly.

Or so you think. But is it?

Stephen R. Covey uses the analogy of a map of reality to answer that question. Since your first breath, you have been creating a map of reality and your response to it. With limited perception and understanding, however, you—and all of us—got some things somewhat right and some things wrong. You have been using that map for years to maintain perspective and a sense of direction. You have expanded it over time and altered some parts when they have been found to be wanting. Some whole regions of the map may have come to seem completely inadequate.

However if reality, as God sees it, is, for example, a map of Chicago, and you are trying to find your way with a map of Denver, you will continually run into dead ends and blind alleys. Something just doesn’t match up. This map of Denver, which you hold such faith in, seems to lead you into continual frustration.

In those areas where you hold incorrect ideas, false paradigms, or misunderstandings and carry them through life, you will be about as effective as if you were carrying the wrong map of a city. Frustration and pain is inevitable. As fervently as you believe in your map, as desperately as you cling to it and try until you are breathless to get to where you want to go, you will only end up bitterly disappointed.

Call a taxi. Rent a different car. Spin your wheels faster—your destination will still not be reached, because it was never just about how hard you tried, but about the nature of your inner map.

It is so easy to see false ideas at work in others. A friend of mine believes that she can’t succeed at some things that are important to her. She has mounds of evidence to prove it. Since she left the confines of the crib, she has been hard at work interpreting her experience to demonstrate that she is a failure who can’t accomplish what she hopes. Because she is so convinced of this, each experience adds to her story. “See, I couldn’t do that either.” “I knew this wouldn’t work out.” “It’s just like I thought, I blew it again.”

As you repeat certain ideas to yourself, you inject them into your experience. In fact, quietly, but surely, you shape our own experience to reflect what you believe. It is the picture you are painting of the world stroke by stroke. It is your life’s history you are writing, line by line. Given a chance for success, my friend sabotages herself, though quite unaware she is doing it, but the filter through which she sees the world is so strong that she shapes each experience to further solidify it. She is talented and able and the last to see it.

She may start a new project, but somewhere inside she is convinced that she will fall short, that she will trip before the finish line, that things will not come together for her. What she does not see, is that she has been the author of this idea, has created her experience to be a self-fulfilling prophecy of a false belief.

Sadly, her viewpoint on her worth and abilities becomes more solidified over time. She has created more evidence for it, every time she steps back from success, convinced she is unable and unworthy. Her evidence of her inability to find a sense of potency and happiness is not just a hill, but a Himalayan mountain, impossible in her mind to scale, and she does not know that she made that mountain herself.

The false ideas of others, especially the others we are close to, become evident to us, because we

see how they trip on them. We watch them falter and we want to leap in and say, “If you could just abandon this idea, this pocked and distorted glass through which you view the world, everything would change.” We want to say, “You are hurting yourself by the things you believe that are false. Your lens on the world and on yourself is skewed; it is hurting you.” It is clear that ideas are powerful; they are the invisible but sculpting tools of our souls and our life’s experience.

We can see those around us who have interpreted life resentfully, those who have had false expectations about what they thought they deserved. We grieve for those who have talked themselves out of a relationship with a loving God by the distortion of their thoughts. We can tell that the perpetually unhappy are caught in a web of misperceptions, that what they say when they talk to themselves is much of the problem.

What is much harder is to see the lies and falseness in our own thinking because we are under the illusion that what we see is the truth. We see what is. We, in fact, share a viewpoint with God. His may be much more expanded, but at least for what we see, we got it right.

In scripture we are taught that the “truth shall make you free” (John 8:32).

What we also know, however is that its reverse is also true. A lie, a misperception, a false assumption that leads to a faulty outlook shall bind us. In the area of our understanding where the falseness operates, it may be an utter and complete bondage that keeps us feeling stuck for reasons we do not see.

When we are taught that the “truth shall make you free,” we may believe that this refers to gospel truths only, however, since truth is “things as they really are, and…things as they really will be”, it is evident that our ability to be free—that is empowered with joy, light, love and intelligence in every area, including our relationship with ourselves and others—depends on our being loosed from the bondage of bad ideas. This includes our assumptions that are silent and therefore invisible to us (Jacob 4:13).

We believe all sorts of things, take them as underlying foundation stones to our outlook that we don’t even know we’ve embraced. How do we come to know what our silent assumptions are? Events may open our eyes to our underlying assumptions. Our differences with others sometimes make them clearer.

Life is designed to reveal ourselves to ourselves. What happens to us in this mortal journey shows us where in our thinking and understanding we have it wrong.

It is one of the Lord’s kindest gifts to us. We do not want to be hampered in our journeying, dragging heavy baggage and burdens that are frustrating and painful because we couldn’t see where to put them down.

How do you recognize where your own ideas are faulty? How do you come to see where you have misunderstood the nature of reality? How do your own mental distortions or misunderstandings become clear to you?

Here is a key. If it is the truth that makes you free, then you can tell where you are in bondage to lies, to the wrong coloring of reality, to emphasizing one thing to the detriment of others that are more important, because in those areas you feel less free. You can tell if you have perceived yourself unfairly or unwisely or in a diminished and contracted way because you feel imprisoned.

Bondage signifies itself in your soul as unhappiness or frustration or a sense of being stuck. Something isn’t working, no matter how hard you try. If in any area of your life you are in a box, and can’t find your way out, it is because you are hemmed in by a faulty thought pattern.

Misery is an invitation to step back consciously and examine your own thought patterns—both what you say when you talk to yourself and the underlying worldview you have created from which they spring. Misery or dejection or even a slight sense of dimness suggests that you have to pay attention to the way you look at things. Certainly a ruptured relationship offers the same invitation.

My husband, Scot, and I have developed a technique between us for helping the other when either of us is dispirited. One of us says to the other who is in the slumps or is anxious or fearful, “What are you believing right now that isn’t true? What thought pattern have you followed that has got you so stuck?”

The answer to that question is not always clear immediately. Finding our faulty thinking may take discussion or journal writing. I have written pages some times asking what I am thinking that isn’t true, isn’t an actual reflection of the way things really are. On paper I have asked myself: What do I believe in some particular area? Why do I think that? What evidence have I mounted to think that? Is there something skewed or inaccurate in that pattern of thinking? Where does that thinking lead me? Does it bring me joy? Does it empower me? If the truth makes me free, does this thought pattern make me feel spiritually enlightened or dimmed? Is there a truer way to understand this?

Am I in a box in my thinking? Have I created of my mind a terrarium with its own atmosphere that doesn’t acknowledge its limitations?

Rooting out the muddles in our thinking foremost requires prayer, for ultimately, it is our loving Lord, from whom all light springs. He sees things as they really are. That light that springs forth from his bosom which fills the immensity of space is truth. He invites us with open arms into his embrace to see better and ultimately to see wholly.

He has told us, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways…for as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts” (Isaiah 55: 8,9).

The spiritual life is a progressive journey to have His Spirit expand and correct our very thoughts, not only about the grand things of eternity but about

how we perceive the smallest details, which are in themselves tell-tale to how we’ve told our story to ourselves.

Joseph Smith said “that the nearer man approaches perfection, the clearer are his views”[i] Of course, then, that it should be no surprise that our life’s experience would reveal our flawed thinking in ways we would surely notice.

During Christ’s ministry, in many instances he healed the blind. In one instance described by John, he saw a man at the temple who somewhat like the rest of us “was blind from his birth”. Ours is a blindness in our thinking, his was physical. After Christ healed him and he was hauled before the Pharisees who wanted an explanation, he answered simply, “Whereas I was blind, now I see.”

When we are stuck or miserable or nothing works, we might first take note of what we are saying to ourselves in the incessant monologue in our heads and whether it is the light of truth or laced with little lies, even lies we have not yet caught on to. God always invites us to see better and to show us the way to do just that.

I read this this morning in my personal study in my Meridian magazine, which I love! I always feel renewed, uplifted, and fed. I know I have some of these thought patterns to write an untrue story of myself. Yet, I know too, that Jesus is the Christ, and is my Redeemer who gave his life for me and my weaknesses, sins, mistakes etc. So why does it take me so long to get it? Because it is always a pattern we have to overcome, or faulty thinking we have to practice getting over. This always take time. But one thing is certain, time always teaches better, and always heals.
I LOVE this article!!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Christmas Tree 2010!

This tree brings me great "Joy"! It is just so beautiful to me and to look at it reminds me of what my Heavenly Father has really blessed me with! How lucky I am to be here now at this time with the people I am on the journey with! I hope you can see all the little details that shimmer and shine!

Thanksgiving 2010

So much to be thankful for! Look at those cute faces!! I love each and every one of them. I'm so thankful for my membership in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, Thankful for my dear family, each and every one, from children, to inlaws, to grandchildren!! Thankful for my job, thankful for many opportunities to serve, thankful for my health (the good and the bad, currently a migraine, ugh!) Thankful for wonderful extended family, thankful for a beautiful home, for a sweetheart dog, for fantastic friends who are very loyal to me. Thankful for this country in which we live, and for freedom! And this is a very short list.
Thank you for my life!

Enjoy these cute faces everyone!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Probably this is the busiest time of the year for me and it gets difficult to see my way through the mountains of paperwork for my seven sections and two classes at BYU. Not to mention preparing for a new semester, hiring new instructors, setting up certification clinics for January! That is just a part of my assignments. Then on to Young Women's and the size of that job as well. Then of course preparations for Christmas for my family, oh, and get ready for a family reunion on Our Cruise on Jan. 1st. I guess there comes a time, I must go and reload or I am no good to anyone. Maybe the cruise is where I reload, huh???

BUT.....don't get me wrong, I am so grateful for the work. It keeps me thinking ahead, and of other things. I guess I relate very well to my daughter in trying to be everything to everyone and perfect in everything that there comes a moment of "I am drowning here". I think I'm there. Drowning that is.

I have a truckload of weaknesses that I keep trying to work on, only to fail daily. But that said, it does do one thing and that it brings me closer to my Heavenly Father who knows me perfectly. I am sure he is laughing a bit up there at me, don't you? Or maybe he is just saying "My dear Daughter, just Come to me and I will give you rest!"

AND, another thing those weaknesses do is to teach me that I can't do or be everything my heart desires to be. I just don't have that capacity. I just don't have the insight or the strength enough. But He does! So today, I am working at letting HIM take all my burdens, at least I will try.