Thursday, August 29, 2013

The Symphony of Life

There is a really lovely piano song I have come to love. "Shine" by William Joseph. It has a beautiful melody, and wonderful chords that blend together in a wondrous serenade of sound. Listening to this song makes me think of goals and dreams for better a today and better tomorrows. It had different musical lines that blend together, and when the song is over, it leaves the listener inspired and refreshed. 

Music has always been one of my passions. I love both performing and listening to well composed music, especially piano music. But I've noticed two things about well written piano music, first, there's always more than one note that must be played, and second, the notes must stay within the key signature restrictions in order for the music to flow. 

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Restless Beauty: A Bedtime Story

Once upon a time there was a young lady, strong, beautiful and bright. She could conquer the world with a wave of her hand, and she was confident in her knowledge that she was oh so very special. Everyone knew that when she was around, the spotlight followed her, and so did a crowd of people. Everyone wanted to be like Olive, a true princess in and out.

Olive had a problem though, she had a problem sleeping. Every time she went to bed, she would toss and turn, but could never get comfortable. She started piling mattress on her bed, and then pillows and then blankets, but nothing helped. Olive couldn't sleep.

Slowly, her beauty began to fade. Her once cheerful personality faded into grumpy shouts at the admirers that followed her. The beautiful skin that used to glow with joy and love, turned an uneasy shade of pale pale yellow, and her once radiant eyes, dulled, and were framed by dark bags under her eyes.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Our Happily Ever After

I keep hearing people tell me "life isn't like a fairy tale" and I would just like address this issue right off the bat. Life is absolutely like a fairy tale. It is full of magic, hope, loss, and of course, the most precious "happily ever after".

Ever fairy tale begins with a lone princess/prince who destines for more than she/he currently has. They want more! And in every case, they venture out, or are sent out to find that missing piece of life. Along the way they encounter the terrible heartache, misfortune, an evil villain who tries to keep them from their true destiny. But somehow our hero always steps in to save the lost royalty and helps them to the end. Despite the trials that face the beloved royalty, there is always this sense of hope we feel for them, "come on!" we cheer, "just wait, it get's better in just about 5 minutes!" We know that if they press forward with hope, something great is waiting around the corner.

Monday, August 19, 2013

It's raining Cats and Dogs!

North Carolina has rainstorms where I am pretty sure cats and dogs fall from the sky. It's crazy! I'm from Oregon, and I've never seen so much rain come down at one time, and when the sky is all cloudy gray, sometimes it's really hard to keep your 'happy face' on. It's so interesting though, the grass is always green here, and the flowers seem to always be blooming...why? Because it rains...and Rains...and RAINS

Life is much the same. Sometimes all we see is the crazy rain that always seem to pour on down. It almost floods our lives, and it makes it hard to see through dark clouded skies of confusion. But the really unfortunate times come when we are so focused on the rain, and forget to see the flowers. 

Sunday, August 18, 2013

It all starts...with a starter!

There is this great young woman at my church, Sarah, and she makes sourdough bread, and for all those who know me well, you know how much I LOVE sourdough bread. Interestingly enough, I learned it's quite a process to make a good loaf of sourdough bread. It all begins with the 'starter'. And this starter has to be 'fed' over several days with potato flakes and sugar to make sure it stays 'alive'. If you don't feed it on a consistent basis, it dies, and then you have to start all over, and it's not easy.  

Faith is much the same. Often we start on the right foot, we begin believing and then something happens, we forget to feed our flicker of faith and the faith we had slowly begins to fade away. Which is why it is so important to consistently 'fan the flame of our faith' (Holland). 

Saturday, August 17, 2013

The Parable of the Oreo

 I love Oreo's. They are one of my favorite cookies, but I always used to find them maddening to eat! When you try to dip the cookie in milk it would always either crumble, or worse, you would drop it in, and then have to fish it out causing a terribly large mess. 
 However, I learned something just recently, if you take a fork and insert it into the filling of an Oreo and then submerge it into the milk (just until the bubbles stop) then you can eat it with no fuss, no muss, and even better, no MESS.
 So why do I tell you about this fantastic trick? Because just like you need the proper tools and tactics to eat an Oreo without the stress, we all need proper tools and instruction to help us succeed in life. 

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

"Hope for a Better World"

Hope is always found in the hand of the Lord. The Lord loves his children, and when we trust him enough to follow him, we can find the peace we are searching for. I know God lives, and loves each of us individually as his children. The Book of Mormon tells us where we should look to for this hope. 

 "Wherefore, whoso believeth in God might with surety hope for a better world, yea, even a place at the right hand of God, which hope cometh of faith, maketh an anchor to the souls of men, which would make them sure and steadfast, always abounding in good works, being led to glorify God." (Ether 12:4)

It all starts with that one step of faith, sometimes it's a step in the dark, but as we go forward God will always light the path. There is a way to light if we choose not to dwell in darkness. President Monson councled us, "to look to the lighthouse of the Lord...there is no fog so dense, no night so dark, no gale so strong, no mariner so lost but what the lighthouse of the Lord can rescue. It beckons through the storms of life. It calls, “This way to safety. This way to home.'" If we follow the council of the prophets, we can overcome the darkness we feel trapped in. It is essential that we remember to "accept that darkness exists and choose not to dwell there." (President Deiter F. Uchtdorf), there is always a better way. 

I invite you to learn more, to find the hope you lack. Come, join us.