Monday, December 20, 2010

Zion's Camp Inspiration

Inspirational phrases are like boomerangs--be cautious when you use them, because they're bound to come swinging back in your direction.

About six months ago I was asked to give a talk in church about following the Spirit, or the answers God gives us in prayer. Interestingly enough, I cited the story of Zion's Camp, the account of 500 men called to march 900 miles to redeem Zion. When these men reached their destination, the Lord told proclaimed, "therefore it is expedient in me that mine elders should wait for a little season, for the redemption of Zion." (D&C 105:13). Or in modern terms: Turn Around, Go Home Boys!

I have found this story applies in our times--oftentimes we are called to go in one direction for a time, only to be told months or years later its time to turn around. We can moan the entire way back, or trust that the Lord has a greater plan and will truly fight our battles (D&C 105:14). Thanks Megan, for reminding me of that power.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

For the Spirit of Christmas

The vibration noise of my phone sounded at 8:15 am, then at 8:20, 8:25, 8:30, 8:35, 8:40 and until I heeded its call at 8:45--I had an appointment with one of Santa's elves, 9 am sharp.

The reason? My never-to-be-released-from-my-heart of a home teacher, Brother Rigby, had cornered me a week ago about fixing the interior door-panel of my parents 1997 Ford Crown Victoria. Although named the-girl-that-would-starve-to-death-if-she-had-to-survive-by-her-hands by my dear mother, I decided to try my hands a fixing the door for my parents.

From 9am until 4pm we concocted a way to resurrect a door panel that resembled the tributaries of the Mississippi River. More than 20 ideas were used in that garage on 6th North and 3rd East. Even more trips were made to the local hardware store. But in the end, every part was attached by screws, glue and zip ties. While the finish product does not resemble the interior of a new Lexus, (more like an armed tank), the door functioned once again.

Such a day will remain within my hall-of-fame of Christmas memories. For twas a gift not asked for, but much needed. Twas the gift of love and practicality.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To the Females of Planet Earth

I couldn't believe my eyes, there it was sitting in his inbox: a hate letter address to one of my favorite guys on earth, my little brother. The something-or-other addressed email that solemnly proclaims before the world: "because you were born I have the right to be miserable," complete with the tears, confetti and embellished invitations to a self-made pity party.

Such an act, was the last on my tolerance list for pathetic girl stupidity. So I declare this bold proclamation in behalf of all males to walk the earth (who at times, I admit, have done me the favor of getting under my own skin). Still I write these words:

Ladies, Let us stop blaming men for not fulfilling our "vain imaginations" created by stuffing our heads full of Twilight, modern-day chick-flicks and evening-sitcoms. Its time we turn off the flick and meet a REAL Nick.

Let us cease to compare their sincere kind acts with the empty, superfluous acts of diamonds, flowers and lustful kisses portrayed on the Hollywood and Halmark screens every day. How about appreciating the awkward phone call, conversation or glance?

Most importantly, let us put a halt to our womanly rituals that force us to cough up all our horrific relationship experiences (obviously souped up throughout the years to satisfy our pride and receive more pity) during what supposedly is intended to be a fun girls night out. Why do we continue to gauge our personal successes with our martial status? Why are the first words between long-lost single female friends, "so are you dating anyone?" Let us love each other for who we are NOW, not the person we will be in 5, 10 or 15 years.

Think about it...Men are looking for princesses, those found in the films we all adored as little kids: Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White, Ariel and Belle. Women who were proud to be women: soft-spoken, nurturing and beautiful from the inside out. Sadly, I believe there are far too many women imitating the wicked step-mothers, witches and villains--striking their prey or manipulating circumstances to be admired, pampered and adored.

I guess we all could use a little reminding, myself included, that God created men and women to be equal partners, help meets and companions. One was never intended to spend a life in servitude to the other. Life was never intended to be perfect, but it was intended to be a lab for small and simple changes. Please, let us free men of our foolish and vain romantic and impossible expectations. Let us be the friend even if we desired more.

Most importantly, let us be the women God intended us to be.