Tag Archives: family

Becoming Comfortable with Beauty

Last week’s SS lesson talked about gaining knowledge. The teacher asked “why do you think it is important to ‘read out of the best books’ ?” He pointed out that the scriptures are The best books and we should read from them daily.  But there are others that we should also read.  So, here are my thoughts:

I think our brain is like the rest of our body: Garbage in, garbage out. If we eat harmful things, it will starve our organs of necessary nutrients to function properly. Some substances (like harmful drugs) can actually target certain organs and cause damage quickly. Likewise, we can take harmful things into our mind that will slowly starve it (lack of learning) or even damage it quickly (pornography, hate-speech).

Mom with her Osborne Computer
Mom with her Osborne Computer, 1980-ish

I’ve always liked the analogy that we are each like a puzzle piece that fits into our family puzzle; immediate and extended. We are shaped by those around us and by the choices we make. As we grow older, we have more control over our “shape” as we make more of our own choices. And I’m not just talking about our body shape. 🙂 Our “shape” is who we are comfortable spending time with and the places we are comfortable in. And by “comfortable” I guess I mean “easy.” Routine is comfortable.

When I first moved away from my parents home I remember how good it felt to go back home for a few days. That’s where my shape fit best. The whole environment felt like a warm blanket wrapped around me. I remember years later, after I’d been married for a few years, we weren’t able to be with my parents for Thanksgiving. I not only missed the time talking to them, I even missed falling asleep on the couch after dinner with the sound of the football game on the TV. I’ve never been one to turn on a football game but I did on that Thanksgiving Day.

I know many smokers who want to quit smoking. It seems like the routine of smoking may be harder to quit than the physical addiction to nicotine. My husband was successful when he replaced his smoking routine with a painting routine. He painted a mural at his workplace instead of going on smoke breaks. He broke the pattern of where he walked and how he used his hands during breaks. The mural only took so long, though, so his desire to quit kept him motivated to find other ways to create new patterns and routines.

We don’t have to like the routine we are in for it to be comfortable. Change is hard. It may be the biggest reason an abused person doesn’t leave the abuser. They’ve gotten into a routine. It is comfortable in the sense that they know what to expect; not that they like it but they don’t know anything else. Maybe they don’t think they deserve anything better or they don’t think they are capable of anything better. When we change our shape, some of our closest relationships won’t be as comfortable. Those people either choose to change their shape or leave.

Yes, change is hard but it is so worth it! In the past, I was trapped in a shape I wanted to change. I could see that the men I was attracted to were toxic. I was successful in my career though. And I had good relationships with my family and friends (as far as I know-lol). It was just this one type of relationship that I had trouble with. I had to change my shape. I changed the way I thought about myself. I had to practice seeing the beauty in others as well as in myself. But that also meant I needed to learn to recognize what was harmful to me. I am now blessed with a kind, loving and supportive husband. I’m not done yet. Life is not over. I’m still working on my shape.

lake-house-nighttime
The pathway home

Change is hard. But we CAN change our shape! God created us in HIS image! (Genesis 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.” also: Moses 2:27, Abraham 4:27, Ether 3:15, Alma 22:12, D&C 20:18)

I think one reason to “read from the best books” (D&C 88:118) is so we can fill our mind with beauty; so we are comfortable hearing beautiful speech. When we look at beautiful scenery and artwork we grow comfortable being in beautiful places. Aren’t we trying to shape our puzzle piece to fit into God’s family puzzle?  Don’t we want to be comfortable in the beauty of Heaven?

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Gratitude

I have SO many blessings in my life….family being one of the highest on my list, 2nd only to Jesus Christ and God the Father.

The Sabbath always recharges my batteries and General Conference weekend provides an extra dose of the Spirit.  Talks from the prophets are so applicable to what is happening in our world at this time.  I am grateful for loving parents and the happy childhood they provided for me.  We are excited to see our children and grandchildren in a week.  It has been a couple years since we’ve seen our grandchildren and we miss watching them grow up.  Facebook watching is not the same thing.

So, anyway, no bears today but I was a little nervous about walking alone down our long and winding road.

Our Road

I asked Don if he wanted to go for a walk with me.  He’s scared of bears and knows I can out run him so he didn’t want to go.

I was “trying” to whistle, in case there was a bear around, so he’d hear me coming.

I really can’t whistle.  It could only be described as making a high-pitched hissing noise through my teeth.  Any self-respecting bear would take a wide berth of such an annoying noise…. or slap me silly… but I was hoping for the former.

Spider
Spooky Spider

So I’m walking and high-pitched-hissing and looking up the hills as I go.  As I looked back to where I’m walking I see a spider suspended right in front of my face!  AAAaaaaaa!  I’m SO glad I didn’t walk into him!  I know he’s not as big as a bear but the thought of it crawling on my face creeps me out!

Mergansers
Common Mergansers

It was a pretty calm day on the river.  Mergansers, mallards, a pied-billed grebe, kingfishers and 2 different kinds of hawks.  There was a small hawk today; maybe a Kestrel or a falcon?  I didn’t get a picture.

A few fish are jumping but the rains are very late this year.  Those salmon must be crossing their legs out in the ocean!