Tuesday, April 22, 2008

As Women of God

I would like to share something that my mother gave me. It was written by a man who is a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. It made me start thinking... and you know what trouble THAT can bring!

Elder M. Russell Ballard
I received an outline called "A Woman's Lifeline" the other day that I can relate to because I've seen my daughters and granddaughters grow up, and I thought you might be able to relate to it also:

Age 3: She looks at herself and sees a queen.

Age 8: She looks at herself and sees Cinderella.

Age 15: She looks at herself and sees an ugly duckling (Mom, I can't go to school looking like this today!)

Age 20: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she's going out anyway.

Age 30: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but decides she doesn't have time to fix it so she's going out anyway.

Age 40: She looks at herself and sees "too fat/too thin, too short/too tall, too straight/too curly" but says "At least I am clean!" and goes out anyway.

Age 50: She looks at herself and says, " I am what I am," and goes wherever she wants to go.

Age 60: She looks at herself and reminds herself of all the people who can't even see themselves in the mirror anymore. Goes out an conquers the world!

Age 70: She looks at herself in the mirror and sees wisdom, laughter, and ability and goes out and enjoys life.

Age 80: Doesn't bother to look. Just puts on a purple hat and goes out to have fun with the world.

The moral is, maybe we should all grab that purple hat a little earlier.

I love this! The other day after reading this, I had a revelation. It doesn't matter! All the crap, the hardship, the stress, it all doesn't matter. Because in the end it's all about you. Or, I should say, what kind of life you have lived. If you are wiser, more compassionate, richer in spirit, able to love completely and without reserve, serve others with fervency, cry harder and then are able to rejoice more fully at the end of the tunnel, you have lived a good life in all respect of the word.

Times are tough right now here. We are really struggling, and sometimes I just want to lay down and give up, or not leave the house.
I have desperately needed hope in the last few months, and it seems like hope has been sorely lacking.

Just last month my son was in the hospital with pneumonia. We had no insurance, and no money. He was seriously ill and really, he could have died if we had not caught it when we did.
It took every ounce of my strength to just be able to not lose it completely. How many challenges are we to overcome?? What does He want from me?? Does he want me to stop asking these questions??.... perhaps so. I am trying, really.

I don't know. I just know that there is some lesson to be learned here. I don't know what it is, or if I will ever learn it.... which brings mind (excuse my random brain) another tangent I'd like to take you on, come with me, it's guaranteed to be a wild ride....

Why do the good, kind, wonderful people like my friends Whitney, Char, and Jane die young, while the horrible, wicked and perverse live long- and sometimes even prosperous- lives?

Well I believe I have found some peace in this regard, those without God in their lives can say it's only my way of explaining things to myself so that I don't completely lose my marbles, and I'll let them... but I know better.

I think it is because we all have a mission in life. Before we came here, we signed on to it. We knew we wouldn't remember what it was when we got here, had faith that the answers would come if we sought them out prayerfully, and committed to striving to do our best to complete it before returning home, hopefully, with honor.

Those who are good, righteous, loving, kind and gentle- perhaps they have completed their mission, and the time has come for them to return to their Father in Heaven. I know I have never met anyone like Jane in my life. She was the only person I have ever known who was completely prepared to meet her God. She was a good person, a loving, caring, compassionate, practically perfect in every way woman.

Those who are wicked, perverse and unjust? Well, I think our Father in Heaven loves them too, and just wants to give them as much time as he can for them to remember....

Will we be held accountable for the lives we have lived while in this mortal existence? I believe we will.

I don't mean to get all preachy here, those of you who have been with me since the beginning know that I don't blast my faith with every post. But for the last 4 years or so I have been going through one crisis or another, and I'm still here. I'm still alive.
I haven't taken a drink or used a drug to get me through the day in 18 years come April 28th.
I haven't committed suicide.
I haven't beaten my children.
I haven't felt the need to perpetrate the heinous crimes committed against me as a child on anyone else, because "that's all I know" or whatever the current politically correct catch phrase of the year is.

This is because I truly have come to believe I am a child of God, and he expects the most from me.

So, when I ask myself, "Why?" I simply remind myself- I am a survivor, and perhaps.... just perhaps..... I still have a mission to fulfill.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Spring flowers!

All photographs copyrighted by: Rachelle Black 2008 not to be used for any purpose either commercial or personal without written permission.

Thought I'd share some flowers with you all :)) Two of my favorites, Poppies and Buttercups- and a deer on the hill! I am having a lot of fun with my new camera, when I have time that is!