Thursday, March 31, 2016

Hidden Gifts

Some people,
      seeing only their weaknesses,
fail to recognize
     their gifts.

Some become so blinded
      by the seeming brilliance
      of other’s gifts
that they cannot
      perceive their own.

Some, in false humility,
     disown their gifts
as they flee from
     the responsibility
     of developing them.
Some, expecting gifts
     to require no effort
     on their part,
discount what
     they have been given.

And there are those
     who, because something
     comes easily to them,
take their gifts for granted.

And so,
     unseen and unshared,
many gifts,
     lie hidden.


You feel you have so much to do
that there isn’t time to plan
and adjust to change.

Meanwhile, I have become
so caught up in lofty goals
that I fail to notice real limitations.

Stress increasing,
you shut me out
in a vain attempt to bring
order to your life.

In an equally ineffective effort
to deny what I don’t want to accept,
I hide my increasing distress from you.

Having lost sight of your goals,
your inefficiency increases
as does your frustration.

Oblivious to reasonable constraints,
I continue to push myself
into a state of constant exhaustion.

Unaware of your need
to plan better,
you strive to reach your goals
by determinedly and ineffectively
pushing yourself to work harder.

While, unwilling to accept reality,
I attempt to force my body
to do as my mind wills,
accomplishing nothing
but the destruction of my health.

Seeking to solve our problems alone,
we desperately flounder
constantly repeating our errors
and wondering why life is so difficult.

Eventually we seek the Lord’s help,
not realizing that He has already
given us help in each other.



Though I can’t choose
the end of my path,
I can choose the beginning.

Though I can’t decide
my  harvest,
I can select the seeds.

For my harvest is determined
by the planting,
and my reaping
      gathers the consequences
of the choices I sowed.

Growing Up

As a child angrily pounds on his father’s leg,
screaming, “You don’t love me!”,
we threaten to withhold our love
from God
if He does not immediately
give us all we desire.
After all, we, in our toddlers wisdom,
feel sure we now know what is best for us.
At least, we know we want it right now,
and our father should give it to us.
If He truly loves us, wouldn’t He want us to be happy?
With a surety breed from ignorance and arrogance,
we constantly test Our Father’s love,
demanding His immediate fulfillment
of our every desire.
In peace He stands,
enduring our childish blows and shrill screams,
our pouting and our sulking.
In love He withholds what would harm us,
waiting for us
to accept His wisdom
and begin growing up.


My life passed
In a gray sameness.

The same few foods
Prepared the same way,
One spiceless food at a time.
No variety, no change.

The same few rooms
Defining my tiny world
In a few level steps.
No variety, no change.

The same few activities
Laundry, dishes, cooking
Writing, and reading.
No variety, No Change.

The same few TV shows,
Our recorded entertainment,
Consisting of old familiar videos.
No variety, No change.

The same routine
In carefully measured steps,
Day following day.
No variety, No change.

My life passing
In a gray sameness.


Like a forgotten gift
gathering dust in
a deserted room,
the unused talent lies.

lost amid pressing demands,
and buried under laundry and dishes,
it remains,

Till, one day,
in a moment of
quiet reflection,
the older woman
comes across
the small gift
so carelessly overlooked
in younger, busier times.

Opening it, she discovers
a small treasure
which she, at last,
joyfully begins to share
with those around her.

My Frustration

Frustration is putting Your will Before His

My Frustration

Determined on what
I think I should do,
I view my limitations
with disdain,
crying out in anger
at the unjustness of my experiences
and seeing them as hindrances
to what I want to do,
instead of opportunities
to progress on my eternal path.



Trying something
Seeing it didn’t work
Trying again
Repeating my mistake

Forever and forever
Unable to get free
and become who I can be

Until He
Gently untangling me
He sets me free
at last.


Not Me!

As a child,
I looked with disdain
at older people.

Didn’t they have any pride?

Why didn’t they
take care of themselves?

Look at that old woman:
tennis shoes and socks,
short, short hairstyle,
punchy stomach,
wrinkled skin,
and flabby arms
and body.

Doesn’t she want
to be fit and attractive?

Doesn’t she care?

Yes, Me!

Now that I’m
one of those old ladies,
I understand.

Yes, we care.

I would love to be
beautiful and fit,
but instead I must cope
with a body stretched
and worn from
child bearing and raising,
with parts of me that no longer work well,
with an achy body and constant fatigue,
with frizzy hair and sore feet,
with dry eyes and skin,
and with nauseousness
and headaches.

Do I have any pride?

Wisely, the Lord
has been slowly
pealing it away,
making me more fit
to live with Him someday.

Fear and Trust

For fear of painful pruning,
I hesitate to ask
His help in making my heart
more patient.

Finally, seeing a greatness
in the lives of those
who trust the Lord,
I seek the change only
He can give.


If we hadn’t spent
anxious nights
tending a sick child;

If we hadn’t endured
days of tantrums
and spilt milk;

If we had not felt
the buffetings
of teen independence,
or suffered with them
when they made
wrong decisions;

It there had been no
falls from swings,
beads in noises,
sprained wrists,
crooked teeth,
myopic eyes,
and years of illness;

If our children had
always been polite and kind;

If our families had been
constantly supportive
and our neighbors
always understanding;

If our income had
exceeded our expenses
and our home had been new;

If our hearts hadn’t been
softened and our understanding
enlarged by our experiences;

Would we be the people
we are today?

Entrance Exam

The test is not
     to see how much
     we can learn
     in our short allotted
     time on earth.

Our goal here is not
     to do everything perfectly,
     or accomplish wondrous tasks;

But to develop
     an empowering trust
     in our Teacher.


Different Times

There was the time for me to serve as a Primary teacher (Sunday School teacher)
then as an In-service Leader (Church teacher of teachers).
I learned a lot about teaching principles
and working with others

There was a time to be a church and city editor
I learned a lot about writing, organizing, managing, and establishing guidelines.

There was a time to volunteer at the school
I learned a lot about creative writing,
and gained experience as a professional teacher

There was a time to go to a BYU Church ward (unit that meet together)
I learned about accepting and sharing who I am

There has been a time to support the sisters in my ward
as the visiting teaching coordinator. (records and monitors women visiting each other)
I learned to love and reach out to others.

It was important for me to be out and interact
with others even though it drained my health.
There were lessons I needed to learn
and the Lord healed and helped me,
so that I could learn them.
I have gained a lot of confidence in myself
as I have taught and been an editor in our community,
and as I have served in various Church callings.
Now is a time for new growth
to serve through writing,
and to learn to set boundaries
to preserve my remaining health.

I felt good about doing all the things I have done,
each in their own time,
but now it is a different time.
Now it is time for me to serve
as a Church Service Missionary
answering feedback on
It is time to prepare work for my ancestors and
have their ordinances done for them in the temple.
It is time to share my testimony
and health research on internet blogs.
It is time to support my family.
It is time for my husband and I to spend time together.
It is time for me to nurture myself
and grow spiritually.
It is time to enjoy living.


The young women glance around
     comparing themselves to each other,
     ranking their competition,
     with a much practiced eye for details.
Constantly anxious of their appearance
     they worry through their days,
     vying for the attention
of the young men.

The days have become years,
     and many years have passed.
In the security of an eternal relationship,
     her anxiousness has mellowed
     into a comfortableness with herself.
Though sometimes,
     glancing at her matronly figure,
     she wistfully remembers
     those days of competition.

End of an Era

Soon an era will close.
For ten years the teacher and I
have worked together
loving each of her third grade classes.

We’ve tried having me correct papers, present vocabulary,
help with crafts, give writing lessons,
substitute for her, do poetry units,
and lead writing groups.

Finally, I’ve settled, comfortably,
into being a writing mentor,
coaching the children in writing
one afternoon a week.

Over the years,
we have supported each other
as we have each dealt with
family sorrows and major health problems.

We have faced rejection and disappointments--
been patient with each other’s weaknesses,
and shared many joyful moments.

Together we have considered
ways to help a child,
and rejoiced in seeing the child grow
in skills and confidence.

Bound by a love of children
and a desire to teach them,
we have spent our moments together--
my sharing time, talents and insights,
her sharing warmth, experience, and dedication.

Though I will miss working with the teacher,
I feel at peace
knowing this is the right time
for her to end her professional teaching career.

New possibilities await her.
Finally, she will have the time to do things
she has longed to do.
And, at last, she will be able to enjoy
the rest she desperately needs.

Thankful for the opportunities
she has given me to try my teaching wings,
I now close this time,
having learned from her example,
and, though confident in my abilities,
sure that I do not want to teach professionally.

Yes, our teaching time
is coming to a close,
but our friendship,
knit, stitch by stitch,
by time and love,
will continue always.


The boy, in anxious concern,
watches the butterfly
fight to emerge from its chrysalis.

Once a snug and protecting
place to grow and develop,
now outgrown,
its chrysalis has become too restrictive,
a prison from which it must desperately escape
if it is to survive and grow.

Not understanding that struggle brings strength,
the boy carefully removes the chrysalis
only to watch the “freed” butterfly
soon weaken and die.

Character Course

To build our muscles
a challenging course
is designed
where strength is tested,
agility required,
and endurance demanded.

To build our character
likewise a demanding course
is planned
where obstacles must be met,
faith tested,
and diligence required.



A couple months ago
     My life was spent in my recliner.
A couple loads of laundry
      and an hour or two at the computer
Completing my day.

Now I’m a world traveler!
(at least the part as far east as Ohio,
     and south to Oklahoma)
I’m living in a hotel,
     Visiting with strangers
And eating out.

My narrow world is
     Opening up.
Possibilities surround me.
What will I do with
     My newly emerging health?
Teach, travel, read, visit, serve,
     Run errands, cook, write,
     do research?
Choices. Changes
What will I choose?


Envisioning the path to happiness
an endless ribbon of delight;
smooth, soft, and straight,
extending effortlessly into the future,

We are disappointed
when instead  our idyllic  stroll
becomes a grueling mountain marathon
testing our determination
and building our strength.

We mummer and complain,
sure that happiness flows from ease,
til clambering to the summit,
tired and bruised,
we gaze around ,
finally understanding
that this course was not designed for comfort,
but to build us
into Champions!


Called Home

In the business world
defective merchandise
is recalled.

On the computer
errors are

get sent to the principal
when misbehaving.

are confined in prisons
when violent.

And when a society’s behavior
becomes degraded,
they are called home.

Bridge Burning

I stand on the edge
     looking back,
     but there is no return.
The chasm is deep and wide.
There is no going back
     to my old life.

My bridge is burned.
I set it on fire myself,
     knowing I needed to cross
     and never return.

Looking back, like Lots wife,
     a part of me longs for
     the old comfortable ways,
even though I know they
     just led to misery.

But the bridge is burned.
The fire of confession
     consumed it,
and now I must resolutely
     begin my first fearful
     steps on my new path,
    a path of growth.


Unsure, and a bit overwhelmed, but with faith,
She accepts the calling.

Her willingness to reach beyond herself
allowing her heart to blossom
as the Spirit fills their soul
with love for those she serves

Another Chance

“I’ll see you when I get this done,”
we shout at each other
as we rush to get one more thing in a day.

Pressure builds til,
in our frantic pace,
purpose blurs.
We no longer know who we are,
nor question why so much must be done.

Evening finds us discontented.
Our exhaustive efforts have not accomplished enough,
not nearly enough.
Bemoaning our need for rest,
we at last stop.
As we vow to do more tomorrow,
“To do” lists crowd our uneasy sleep.

Finally a tomorrow comes
when ill and tired,
we find ourselves reconsidering
our pressured life.

In these moments of forced inactivity,
when we are left to ponder
our mission on earth,
questions quietly form:
“Are you taking good care of yourself?”
“Are you spending your time and energies
on things that eternally matter?”
“Are you nurturing your marriage and family?”

That night we rest.
With the morning light
comes hope
and a sense of gratitude
for a new day
and another chance.


Knowing the place makes me ill,
I go there anyway.
Knowing the activity tires me,
I still persist in doing it,
Ever hoping that,
“I’m better now.”

Time passes as
Wishes slowly obscure reality,
til at last,
the debt accrued
in my days of excess,
finally, becomes painfully due.

Accelerated Course

I thought I was
trapped in a remedial track;
doomed to endlessly repeat
basic lessons.

Surprised, I glanced around
to discover
I have been on
the accelerated course
all along.


A New Start

With the new year,
I make a new start.

Mentoring young writers from my home,
I am able to give them the in-depth support
I’ve always desired.

Sharing plans and housework
with my husband,
I feel new unity.

Accepting my home as it is,
I’m avoiding stresses to my health
and enjoying more time together.

With blood sugar stable,
allergies in control,
medication to replace low adrenal function,
and avoiding nightshade foods,
I have hope of improving health.

My weight is down to what it was twenty years ago.
My “fat” clothes are gone, replaced with a new flattering wardrobe.

I enjoy visiting with my mom
and have close friendships.

Our home is simple, well organized,
easy to maintain, and cheerfully decorated.

With separate places to work, eat, teach, exercise, play, and visit,
I can spend time with family and friends
in my own safe environment.

I enjoy sharing my love of literature and my ability to teach
with two neighbor girls.

I have opportunities
to order items, study, and do family history research
from home on our computer.

I’m feeling balance as hours are set aside on Sundays
for reflection and writing.

Sharing the burden of routine details,
I now have time for things I want to do.

Time has finally come for
A New Start.

Monday, March 28, 2016

You Can't Take It With You

Nobly, wearing their suffering
like a metal pinned on their shirt,
They rush here and there,
stressed, tired, and cheerless,
Doing the things that “need” to be done.

With no time for thought or planning,
They scurry around finding
No time to build relationships,
not even with the Lord,
No time to nurture themselves or others,
No time to notice the many gifts
they have been given,
or even any time to enjoy life at all.
Obsessed with “shoulds”
They dash and run, muttering,
like the poor white rabbit
from Alice in Wonderland,
“I’m late! I’m late!”

As day after day is consumed in
amassing and caring for things,
and constant but purposeless movement,
They completely forget that
You Can’t Take It With You.

Too Busy

If I’m too busy
to ponder the scriptures,
to learn new things,
to meditate on goals,
and think through thoughts,
then soon,
I have nothing left to give.

The Leap

Knowing my security lies not in
predictability but in principles,
I hold high my lamp of faith,
and longing to grow,
fearlessly leap
into the unknown darkness.

The Deserving Few

Instead of asking where to keep it,
     I ask why keep it?

Instead of how to care for it,
     I question should it be cared for at all.

Some possessions are given away,
      and others stored in the attic.
Remaining are only a few things giving daily ease,
     but requiring little care in return,
     the deserving few.

That Is Best

Too busy to rest.
I thought I knew best
     til on the floor,
I cried, “No more!”

Now a new start I have,
     and if out of bed
     I wish to stay,
then each mid-day
     rest I must,
and stop each time I tire.

So to be good I should
     allow plenty of time for rest,
and that is best.

Summer Mornings

Still, cool, and fresh,
filled with the happy
chattering of birds,
the day stands poised to begin.

A moment,
quiet and un-rushed,
to pause and reflect
before activity
come bounding in.


Focusing on the beauty around me
my racing heart
and my anxious mind

Gazing upward
into the canopy of branches,
peace fills my soul.

Still Moments

Breakfast on the patio
early on a cool summer morning

Pink mountains
on a snowy winter evening

Sitting in the late afternoon
glow of fall

Light filtering through a
forest of green leaves

Sparkling snow in
an intense blue world

Stars touchable in a desert sky

Surf breaking upon massive rocks
throwing plumbs of glistening spray
high into the air

Light moving up canyon walls
leaving the river in soft quietness

Blazing yellow leaves glowing
against shocking blue

Fall sunsets-
intense reds, golds, and pinks
filling the horizon with glory

Harvest moon- huge, golden,
rising from the mountain tops

Delicate sunrises
creeping pink into a clear morning

Surreal white clouds billowing
high into a deep blue summer sky

A fantasy world
of sparkling ice crystals
the gift of fog
on a cold winter morn

The seclusion of a rainy afternoon
The quietness of heavy snow falling

Still Moments
encircling and filling
with warm peacefulness.

Simple Pleasures

Sharing with a friend
Nurturing a child

Studying intensely
Wandering through a fantasy world

Learning something new
Improving something old

Catching ideas
Polishing a thought

Light and color
Shape & texture

Music & dance
rhythm and song

Morning sunlight
& afternoon glow

Soaking in a tub
Snuggling under a comforter

Simple Pleasures


Faster and faster my thoughts spin;
     so much to do,
     so much unfinished -
Where do I begin?

With heart yearning to support;
     a friend who’s son died in a car accident,
     a teacher under going cancer treatments,
     a young unwed mother and child,
     a woman with teenagers,
     the high school music program,
     the stake newspaper,
     and local politics,
I stretch further and further.

As I lose my sense of balance,
     around me piles grow higher,
     bills remain unpaid,
and, in my refrigerator,
     lettuce slowly turns to
     green soup.

Striving to improve our marriage relationship,
     finish reading the Book of Mormon,
     and put hundreds of pictures in the computer,
I continually push my tired body and mind.

Til with a rough bump;
     all stops.
As the dust of confusion settles,
     I begin to see clearly again.

In this cool breath of calmness,
     problems are solved,
     projects seem less pressing,
     and perspective returns
settling peacefully around me.

Settling Down

Finally our life is settling down
Our business seems to be solidly  on its way
and my husband is enjoying doing
maintenance work for companies
We have time to be together,
visit with others,
and do things around our home
My strength and energy is increasing
as the stress is lessening
Our home is simple and
the plastics are mainly gone or in the den
I am learning to set limits in my life
Particularly limiting details-- feedback, family history, emails, etc.
to just two hours a day
And reserving time and energy
for study, meditation, writing, and thinking
The days of constantly pushing ourselves
Are Over
Things are finally
Settling Down

Setting Bounds

Contentedly, I settle quietly within my my own field,
Knowing that I will no longer find myself lost
as I follow friendly herds to goals that are not mine

Secure in the protection my new fences provide
I, at last, find the time to be myself
and replenish lost energies

No longer trying to help everyone– Now!
I’ve chosen only a few to nurture

No longer trying to answer all emails - Today!
I allow myself only a half hour near the end of each day

No longer do I try and catch up all the laundry in one day
I just do three loads at most and let the rest wait

I no longer attempt to answer all feedback myself,
but limit it to one hour a day

I now see family history as a lifetime project
and am working on it only half an hour a day

I am finally accepting that there will always be
more details to be done
and so I firmly set my own bounds

Rocks and Sand

Like placing rocks in a jar,
     I begin to prioritize
 my daily commitments;
     Writing and study,
      Mentoring children,
      and Supporting friends.

To this seemingly full jar,
     I slowly pour in my “sand”;
     Housework and cooking,
     Finances and filing.

Filling the spaces
     between my rocks,
The sand completes
     my day.


Days out
Hours of relating,
Activity and people

Discussing business web design
with David and Garrett
Visiting Teaching report and planning
Online Missionary training,
Park City Arts Festival
and errands,
Visiting David and Amy
Going to Church
Visiting Teaching
A friend's visit and seeing her grand baby,
Dinosaur museum with our grandchildren

Now I rest
Sitting in the sunshine
by my window
Thinking and writing,
Studying and resting,

Absorbing quietness
into my soul,
and like a thirsty plant,
I slowly revive.


a time to think deeply.

Alone with my thoughts,
     the bustling world recedes,
Til in stillness
     my strength returns.


Quiet moments
distilling peace
upon my soul

my inner
well of strength

Making Whole,
Renewed and refreshed,
Enabling me to reach out
once more
and love.


Sadly they offer their condolences.
“It must be so difficult having
to stay home so much”
I contain a smile
knowing they speak from
their own needs not mine.
How can I explain the peace
I find in quiet reflection.


Once again in my seat
     By the sunny window,
I gather my battered thoughts together,
     Smoothing and repairing
ruffled edges and worn spots.

Moments pass peacefully
     as ideas and feelings
are examined, expressed, and recorded.

Closure is found
     as the whirling, jumbled mass
     is slowly straightened out,
reveling  patterns
     of lasting beauty.

Picking Fruit

When the day is still fresh and new
and the sun glows softly,
before mundane thoughts
muddy spiritual hopes
and divert us from the eternal path
of light and truth,
In those quiet moments
inspiration can best be heard.
This is the time
to pluck and savor the fruit
from the Tree of Life.

Peaceful Day

Begun with morning meditation,
strengthened by prayer
     and scripture pondering,
guided by the words of prophets,
the day begins,
firm and true.

With priorities in order,
     and goals clear,
obscuring clutter
simply falls away,
leaving peace
glowing purely
in the steady light
of inspiration.


Feeling His love,
Seeking His wisdom,
Listening to His counsel,
Following His example,

She trusts her life to
His protecting care,
and walks confidently
into the darkness
Knowing He will guide
her home again.

Peace, Be Still

We rush around,
     blown by countless cares
     and commitments.
Pushing ourselves,
     our tumult of activity
     keeps us ever in danger of capsizing.

Finally above the roar
     of daily errands and cares,
we hear the words of the Master,
     “Peace, be still.”
And his words which calmed the stormy waters
     begin to bring peace to our restless souls.

Peace At Last

A nagging feeling that
things are not right in my life.
A sense of unrest.
An unsettling awareness that something is wrong.

Accepting my need to rest,
I knew I only had ten hours to do all I wanted.
Of these hours, half are needed to care for myself--
food, exercise, meds, rest, and scripture study.
The other five hours were needed to do feedback,
family history, study and write.
Fifteen minutes of each hour must be unscheduled time
and include all detailed work.
Time gone.

Where was I to find time for visiting friends and family,
teaching the children at school,
and my visiting teaching calling?
It just wouldn’t work!
But it had to!!

I kept feeling impressed that I didn’t need
to run faster than I had strength.
I kept seeing a picture of a young woman
struggling to stand on a large ball
while juggling six balls in the air,
then I saw her peacefully sitting on the ball
calmly holding just two balls.
I knew I had to eliminate some things from my life,
but what!?
I enjoy them all!
I’m good at these things.
I can help others.
and who else would or could do it?!
I desperately wanted to do them all!

All afternoon my husband and I counseled
while he worked on the kitchen counters.
As we discussed each commitment in my life,
it became evident that at this time,
the Lord wants me to focus my efforts
on missionary work.
Though I have enjoyed helping the children at school,
it is too stressful.
I simply can’t recover from all the allergic reactions
of getting out frequently.
I must be very careful and choose which events
are worth the stress it will cause to my health.
Regretfully, I’ve asked to be released as
visiting teaching coordinator.
visit teaching supervisor,
and visiting teacher in the home.
I will still continue to write the missionaries,
send cards to the widows,
birthday wishes,
and emails to the women in the ward.

I feel that I have been blessed
by the prayers of the saints in the temple
to accept my limitations
and do the Lord’s will in my life.

Solid Ground

We were trying,
but peace was gone and stress was increasing.
Why were we feeling so stressed
with our business, our home,  my health,
working at the post office, volunteering at the school,
family relationships, and serving in the Church?

Slowly through prayer and study,
we began to ground our lives on solid Gospel principles.
My husband retired and we took charge of our business–
paying debts promptly, carefully evaluating costs,
 and treating both customers and workers as children of God.
We simplified our home– eliminating all that did not add to our lives.
Concerned about the physical and emotional stress of going down to the school,
I decided to focus my teaching efforts on sending encouraging notes to others.
I realized that I had to set reasonable limits on my Church service;
 giving up being the visiting teach coordinator,
serving just one hour each day as a missionary,
and accepting that family history is a life long project.
I started appreciating all I can do and all the help I can give.
I stopped stressing my body by going to Church, the Temple, plays, and stores.
I am accepting that though I enjoy getting out, and want to be a good companion to my husband,
 and help people, I do not have the health to do so.
We lessened my physical stress by removing plastics, mold, and dust from our home.
We have also given up trying to start a business for our son,
provide our daughter with a home, or support my mom.
The best thing we can do to help everyone is to remain
financially, emotionally, and spiritually secure ourselves,
and to set an example of joyful Gospel  living,
offer encouragement and counsel, and be an emergency back-up for them.
We are creating a new balance in our lives by limiting work and allowing time for relaxation.
We are finally understanding that before we can have peace or help others
we must stand on solid ground.


On Track

Though trying to reach our goals,
we veer slightly off track.
Finally, lost, we ask for help
and are gently led back
to the path of
peace and happiness



As  I choose ONE
most important project
and work on it early
when I have the time and energy,
I’m finally getting
the things I want done.

Now there is no need to push,
because I’m not behind.
I’m astounded at how much
time and energy
I’ve  wasted
by not being focused.

As I pray for help
I’m being blessed
with ideas on how to change.

With His help
It all seems so simple
and obvious,

My Element

My goals clear,
I simply begin.
Thoughts come,
the next step appearing
as I move ahead.

Gazing into inquisitive eyes,
I adjust my path.
Empathizing,  relating,
Principles, and goals,
I move in my element
agile and swift.

Thoughts become known
as they appear on paper.
Unfettered by routine
and society’s expectations,
I am free.

Effortlessly I manage my day.
Goals and priorities,
needs and resources,
I move in my element
adept and balanced.

Morning Meditations

In moments filled with
     sunlight and bird songs,
I sort out my thoughts & feelings;
Centering my soul
Before beginning the day.

Moderate Life

What is a moderate life?
It is not going too long between meals,
or staying up too late.
It is not eating too much,
or foods I’m allergic to.
It is keeping warm,
but not too hot or too cold.
It is getting enough medicine,
but not more than I need.
It is getting enough rest,
but not dozing all day.
It is helping others,
but not past my strength.
It is moving frequently,
but not til I am overtired.
It is having time to reach
spiritual, mental, social, and physical goals.
It is avoiding negative relationships,
and reasonable setting limits on what I can do.
It is taking time first to study and write,
and still finding time to do important details.
It is living by principles, not social pressures.
It is avoiding extremes and being in balance.
It is living in moderation.


Living in Balance

With the priority
of building eternal relationships,
I’m focusing my energies on just a few things--
scripture study, family nurturing,
and missionary work.
I’m setting more realistic goals--
eliminating those details and commitments
which don’t directly relate to my goals
and which drain my limited energies--
teaching writing and visiting teaching callings.
I’m avoiding going places which stress my weak immune system--
stores, church, temple, homes, and other public places.
I’m finally even making time to care for myself--
to get the rest, exercise, and relaxation
I need to feel better and be more cheerful.
I’m making time to think, study, write, and pray.
At last I’m trying to live in balance.


If my health no longer confined me to quiet pursuits,
What would I change?
From a day full now,
what would I give up
to join the bustling crowd?
Would my scripture study,
or the time to listen to a friend
become lost in the quest to accomplish even more?
Would a busy day of cleaning and baking
fill me with the same satisfaction
I feel now as I prepare Temple work for my ancestors?
If I could wait on my family,
Would my husband be more thoughtful?
Would my sons make better husbands?
If I didn’t need to rest often,
would I notice the leaves becoming golden or,
see diamonds in new fallen snow?
Would I be content knowing I’m making good speed,
even if, for me, the road is wrong?

How to Be Cheerful

Praying to know what to do
to be happier, more cheerful,
and enjoy my day
The answer comes:
Don’t become stressed or over-tired
Just take good care of yourself

Tossing aside “shoulds”
I’m learning to listen to my body.
When I am beginning to feel tired – I stop
If I don’t feel like doing it – I don’t
When I can delegate – I do

I’m learning to
have some structure and balance to my day
reserve time for creative projects
serve through writing:, letters, sharing poems, emails and blogs
prioritize and manage details better
accomplish family history
and devote time to study

I pray for help to have the discipline
to take medicine on time
to exercise hourly, but never become tired
to eat the right foods at the right time in the right amounts
to get enough sleep at night
to stay comfortable neither too hot or too cold
to relax and never push myself to get something done
to have plenty of time alone to relax and create

This is how to be cheerful --
for me

How Questions

How can you relate to a person
     if  he is in a group?

How can you feel the Spirit
     with noise and movement all around?

How can you communicate
     when all one knows is clouds
     and the other the earth?

How can you feel peace
     in crowded, overfull days?

How can you relax
     in a cluttered, disorderly home?

How can a person thrive
     without time to ponder?

How can I spend most of my time
     in my home by myself?



First aide
for life’s

Full Day

Doing what is right for me,
Planning ahead to avoid pressure,
Spending my time and energies
on what is most important to me,
Sharing my love with others,
Mentoring eight year old writers,
Keeping my home clean and in order,
Having plenty of prepared food to rotate,
Hours to study scriptures
and work on family history,
Time to talk with my husband
and visit with friends,
Moments of meditation
to sort out my thoughts,

Time to relax, to enjoy beauty, to write,
Simple days, with room to breathe
and stretch the mind and soul,
A day full and overflowing.


Like focusing a lens,
Makes my thoughts


Asking how best
to use her gifts,
the woman
begins to simplify
her life.

Possessions are given away,
lightening her load.
Busy tasks are given up,
freeing time and energy.

As a focus
returns to her life,
She is filled with peace,
and knows she is,
once again,
on the right path.

Embracing Life

Decorator in the entrance room
Dreamer in the kitchen
Dancer in the living room

Mentor in the school
Friend on the phone
Writer at the computer

Surrounded by ideas,
     and led by ideals,
      I embrace life.


Melting away in the heat
     of a bustling day,
Peace disappears.

Distilling again
     only though hours
of quiet prayer, study,
     and thought.

Dressed for the Day

Sunlit morning,
day just beginning.

Quiet moments
to straighten my thoughts,
untangle my feelings,
and arrange my priorities


Like a tailless kite,
or a needleless compass,
a morning with out meditation
lacks direction.


Driven by long lists
of things I wanted to do,
I’d push myself through the day.
Til tense, tired, and troubled.
the day would end
with a throbbing headache
accentuating my disappointment
in how little I accomplished.

Knowing I needed to change, I sought His help.
I came to see that there will always be more to do--
more people I could help,
more missionary work to do on,
more family history to submit,
 more to be done around our home and yard,
and more emails to answer.

Now I am feeling less tired and more cheerful
as I allow time to nurture myself --
to study the scriptures, relax, exercise, and nap.
As I am setting reasonable limits on my activities,
I am finding time for each area in my life
and am at last,



For a world that moves at a pace too fast for me
with too many people, too many things to do,
and too many places to go.

For all the loud noises, glaring lights, whizzing cars, jolts, chemicals, magnetic fields, dust, mold and pollen,
heat, and cold which surrounds me.

For feeling others pain, caring, not being able to help.
and not being able to have the loving relationships I desire.

For the fatigue,  an achy body, little endurance, headaches, and the pain of injuries.

For having to restrict and measure my food,
take allergy drops,  monitor blood pressure and sugar,
and take cortisone to live.

For being restricted and not able to enter buildings,
stores, or homes.

For a world filled with endless details
and “busy” loud people.

I compensate with hours of study, soft lights, gentle music,
enjoying nature, thinking and writing.



Listening to the Lord’s voice;

The blare of impatient buzzers,
throbbing music, rushing traffic,
and relentless demands,
quiet to a soft mummer;

Flickering computer screens, big screen images,
and glitzy advertising hype;
slowly fade into the distant horizon;

Leaving my soul centered


Home in the Briers

“How horrible it must be!”
They sympathetically conclude.

“How restricting!
How Lonely!”

Seeing only thorns,
they miss the lovely serenity
found in my refuge
the briers.


Blessed to be on the earth
to see mountains and smiles
to hear birds and friends voices
to feel warm sunshine and hugs
to smell and taste an apple
to touch soft corduroy or smooth wood
and to move, reach, and walk on my own

Blessed to have true principles to guide me
to know what is right & the purpose of life
to understand how to have peace and happiness
to change and grow through the atonement
and to have the Holy Ghost, scriptures,
prayer and prophets, ordinances, and temples
all to help me return home

Blessed with
the gift of understanding & influencing others
talent in writing and teaching
a sense of music and art
and the enjoyment of beauty
the capacity to solve problems creatively
and  the ability to learn and feel the Spirit
Blessed to have the freedom
to make my own decisions
to believe as I think right
to choose government leaders
to work, learn, and travel as I wish
to marry a man of my choosing
and have all the children we want

Blessed to have
a husband who loves and supports me
has good health and wants to progress
caring friends and four children
who are trying to do what is right for the most part
two wonderful grandchildren
kind and helpful neighbors
a friendly community
and a beautiful area to live in with BYU ,
and mountains and canyons nearby to enjoy

Blessed to have
a good education
access to knowledge in libraries & the internet
and the opportunity to attend church,
travel the world, or taka a college course
all from my easy chair via television

Blessed to live in comfort
to have plenty of good food and water
to be warm in the winter and cool in the summer
to have medical care, police protection,
trash removal, and mail delivery
to have a large home with lots of room
and  a vehicle of my own to take me places

Blessed to have
a wide array of attractive clothes
lovely furnishings & decorations for our home
good entertainment available
through DVD and video  players,
beautiful music played with a touch of a button,
or on our piano keyboard
and our own library of tapes and books

Blessed with increased capacity to do good through
having a computer, scanner,
printer, and digital camera
having time & effort saving appliances
to keep my food safe to eat and cook it
to wash our dishes & wash and dry our clothes
being able to speak to anyone anywhere
by using a telephone
Blessed to be able
to have all our children living nearby
to  retire when we wish
to own property and our own home
to fix up our house
to not have to work
to have the time to study , write, and think
and time to rest and heal

Balancing Act

Trying to balance
People and Things,
Relating and Pondering,
Spirit and Body,
Self and Others,
Resting and Activity,
Writing and Serving,
Details and Planning,

I strive to find
the balance between
Reaching out and
Renewing from within.


The anchor of my soul sinks deep,
     secured in quiet moments
where the clanging of demands
     stills slowly to silence.

Held fast by the boulders
    of faith, prayer, and scripture study,
I become firm and immovable.

My life at peace,
     My problems thought through,
I stand ready to reach out to others
     upon the rough sea of life.


My health demands it,
but my soul revels
in long hours spent
in quiet contemplation.

Welling with pity,
people wonder
how I can endure
having to stay
in my home.

I smile and wonder
how they can be content
to squander their life
busily rushing to and fro.

How can I ever express
how alive I feel as I plunge
into the invigorating
world of thought?

Friday, March 25, 2016

What is Right for Me?

Some homemakers spend their day
cooking, cleaning, and running errands,
Some jog and scrapbook,
while others visit, send cards, & volunteer.

There are older women
who devote time to grandchildren,
family history research, and temple work.

All are good,
but what is right for me?

Understand My Mission

The Lord has told me that
through my righteous living
I will be an example to others,
and they would desire to
follow in my footsteps.

It sounded wonderful!
Little did I realize that
my example would be
one of patiently enduring
severe trials,
expressing faith
that the Lord know
what is best for me,
and gratitude for this
opportunity to grow

Time To Retire

After being tried for wanting to use
two weeks of his earned year and a half sick leave,
My husband was ready to be done with the pressures
and political maneuvering of the office.

Three days later, there was a small lunch
where he was allowed to say a few words
about his  career and accomplishments.
We were disappointed that neither
the manager nor his boss
were even aware of his distinguished postal career.

The old days of appreciation for loyalty, dedicated service,
 and extra effort have now been replaced
by threats and unreasonable demands.
Fewer and fewer people are being pressured
to do more and more.

So on Thursday, January 31, 2013,
My husband went into the office
and turned in his keys,
got some of his favorite peanut butter bars and a hug,
said his goodbyes and came home.
As he said, “It is time to retire and move on.”

This Is My Mission

To set an example of a righteous woman,
     a woman of prayer, faith, & study,

To inspire and to lift,
To spiritually lead,

To influence for good,
To teach the children,

And prepare the records
     for my ancestors work to be done,

This is my mission.

The Phoenix

Like a Phoenix rising
     from the ashes,
My dreams, returning,
     soar into a brilliant sky.

The Guide

With empathy and love
I listen
Understanding their
dreams and fears
I respond

Holding up the lamp of hope
I lead
Looking for the opportunities
I encourage
With the assurance
of correct principles,
I stand firm
and Knowing the path
I guide us home



Helping you ,I find wings,
and soar with my mind and heart,
No longer hobbled by a body
     Ill and worn.
Agile and capable,
I share my experience with you,
    and, as I see you grow,
we soar together,
my bounds and pains forgotten
in the joy of our flight.

Should, Could, Would

I should work all day,
then, and only then,
should I play.

It isn’t fair for me
to be supported just
so I can have fun.

There is so much
I could and should
be doing to help others.

I could
do more house cleaning,
prepare nicer meals,
spend time gardening,
run the errands,
write more letters,
send more cards,
devote more time to visiting,
do more family history work,
tutor more children,
spend longer studying the scriptures,
serve others more,
be involved in politics,
and even jog & do aerobics.

But when would
I think, write, and study?
When would I use the gifts
I have been given?

Sharing Love

Setting a quiet example
Living a pattren of a righteous life
Listening with the heart
Giving perspective
Counseling based on principle
Seeing potential
Encouraging dreams
Letting others know their importance
Analyzing a problem
Studying to learn answers
Learning new things with enthusiasm
Generating Ideas
 Identifying a solution
Sharing faith and hope
Holding fast to true principles
Seeking the ideal
Pondering the words of God
Focusing clearly on eternal essentials
Creating beauty and peace
Leading as I follow Him


No more experimenting to make me “better”
My health is stable
I know what I should do and what to avoid
I am to avoid everything I reasonably can
which stresses me physically or emotionally
I am to avoid chemicals in buildings
I have removed most allergens and chemicals
from my home and diet
I can get out some but not for too long
I need to avoid extremes in temperatures
and strain on my jaw, rib, and hips
I am to take my medicine on time
and once in the middle of the night
I am to sleep at consistent times
I am to relax after six in the evening
I am to move frequently, but only for short periods
and never get out of breath or overtired
I am to walk and do stretches daily
I am not to lift anything over a few pound
I can putter around my home
and keep it clean and orderly
I am not to worry about any yard work
I am to delegate all I can
and let my husband help me whenever I can
I am to simplify my life and not make new commitments
I am not to travel more than an hour away from home
I am keep my license but not to drive much
and have my husband shop or shop from home
I am to limit time spent doing detailed work
I am to visit outside or on the phone,
but can have a few holiday socials inside
We have some refinements to finish
but our yard, garage, and home are basically settled

I am to use my time and energy to
nurture family, friends, and ward members
I am to serve as a missionary on
and support my team and leaders
I am to be a full partner in the businesses--
helping my husbandt to be successful
I am to study and ponder the scriptures
and other Church magazines and manuals
I am to save time and energy
to communicate with my Heavenly Father
I am to do the research and prepare
the temple work for my family
I am to preserve the family stories and photos
on the Church’s Family Tree site
I am to write family history stories,
and poems which record my life
and share my thoughts with others
I am to study and do research on many topics
so that I can grow in understanding
and be prepared to support others with creative ideas
I am to support those with have adrenal problems
by putting information on my blog and answering their questions
I am to attend Sacrament meeting by phone from home
I am to write the missionaries, send cards to widows,
and encouraging emails to family and friends
I am to increase our unity in our marriage
I am to care for myself and rest when I feel tired
I am to enjoy life and be happy
I am to share my testimony, express gratitude
and set a righteous example of living by eternal principles and faith
I am not to waste my time and energies
I have things to do!
My life is settled

Ruled by Emotion

I had to choose,
I suppressed my needs
to meet theirs.

that study, thinking, and writing
are mere recreation
to be indulged in only when
ALL “my work” was finished,
I spent my days diligently doing
one detail after another.

and with a deep sense of guilt,
I sought to hide
my creative gifts,
thinking them frivolous.

others’ hobbies
as having true value
and my interests as only play,
I put off doing what I enjoy.

that being myself
would harm others,
I tried instead to be
the idealized wife and mother.

with a sense of duty,
I tried to be what
I thought others
needed me to be.

And so,
misunderstanding my mission,
I gave up being me and
attempted to be what I thought
I should be.

Retirement -- At Last!

It is time to enjoy being together when I’m not completely exhausted
It is time for my husband to lighten my load
by helping with the cooking, laundry, and cleaning
It is time to relax and read in the evenings
Time to talk, share, and plan together
Time to putter in the house, garage, and yard
Time to ride with him as he does errands
Time to get out of the house more
Time to have my husband’s help with home projects
It is time to do family history, serve a mission,
and devote time to the Lord’s kingdom.

It is time to quit trying to support our children
Time to quit spending most of our time and resources
trying to care for them, helping them get through school,
fixing up their homes, and helping them to be financially secure.
It is time to quit trying to provide
a home and job for single daughter,
an income for son’s family,
and investment profit for another daughter
or a home for aging parents.
We can’t help our children any longer
by dividing our limited income with them.
They are all grown adults, who do not want our help,
or appreciate our sacrifices in their behalf.
They need to be independent of us and we of them.
We each need to live our own lives.
We need to set a righteous example for them.
We will always love our children and grandchildren
and be there with encouragement and advice if they want it,
But they need to make their own decisions,
and take their own consequences for their actions.
We might need to provide a little work and food
to help our daughter get by with her part time minimum wage job,
and we will always have a home they can come to,
but we need to accept that this is all we can do.

We must now focus on providing security for our retirement years
We have the responsibility to prepare so we will not
become a future burden to our children.
We need time to work on our business together
and Time to devote to our plans and needs
We need to live a life where we are not pressured to meet others needs.
We need to take things at a comfortable pace
where we are no longer pushing ourselves to help others.
It is time to rest
It is time to retire– at last!

Reflections On

Three Months of being a Church Service Missionary

Day after day they send me their requests.
Half are polite, reasonable questions on how to use the web site.
The rest are prideful criticisms and demands, and a few are pleas for help.

Preferring hearsay to the Lords’s invitation to study, ponder and pray,
Many drift aimlessly; confused and unsure.
While others want only to return to the comfort of the familiar,
refusing to learn anything new.

Disavowing responsibility,
 and consequently depriving themselves of opportunities for growth,
They attempt to bypass their own local authorities
going straight to “The Church”
who they believe will solve all their problems for them.

Without appreciation for what they have already been given,
They demand more – immediately!
Constantly judging and finding fault,
but never wanting to help,
they issue orders.

Basing their shallow testimony
on their own concept of perfection,
They allow even a broken computer link to threaten their weak faith.

Slowly, I’m coming to understand, a little,
how the Lord is saddened
when instead of true prayers from the heart,
We send Him our long “give me now” lists,
wanting Him to use His power to solve all our problems for us,
all the while never appreciating the help and gifts
We’ve already been given.


Will I turn to  the
right or  to  the left?
Knowing once chosen,
my day will be determined,
I stop and consider.

Which  path will best
help me reach my goals?
Will  time spent in executing
a multitude of details
really help me and others
Are my  priorities focused
on eternal  truths?
Does  this activity add  to my life,
or detract?
Can  someone else do  this task
better and faster than me?
What will I say No  to
if I say Yes  to  this?
Will doing it stress me
physically or spiritually?
Will  this choice nurture my spirit?
Will it help others grow?
Is this something essential?
If not, why am  I doing it?
Am I using my talents?
Will it nurture relationships,
or just fill  time with  busyness?
Will it create beauty and  joy in my life?
Will my action bring me peace?
Will it lead me closer to God?

After pausing to consider,
I veer from   the highway,
choosing the meandering  path
my spirit senses
to  be  the way home.

Protection and Guidance

Hope growing again like new shoots
 on a withered branch;
I returned to church and the temple.
Soon engulfed in a chemical fog,
I lost the ability to think and move.
Smothered by depression and confusion,
I struggled to maintain my identity.
Finally, watered by tears,
hope began to sprout again.
Was I, like the current bush,
being pruned so that I would bear good fruit?
Slowly  the sun returned,
allowing me to feel the warmth
of the Master Gardner’s great love
in protecting and wisely guiding a most fragile plant.

Prepared to Retire

Home more simple
Allergens removed
Housework delegated
Details eliminated
Home and Garage in order
Office and Library  set up
Fitness program begun
Time made for writing

FixIt Fellow business assigned
Web sites established
Tools and uniforms acquired
Business cards printed
Truck signs painted
Contact made
Prepared to Retire

Prepared for This Time

Through years of debilitating illness
with no relief in sight,
Through learning to work
together in marriage,
and by nurturing our children
through their challenges,
My heart has been softened
and my understanding increased.;

Til now I stand,
Tempered and stretched,
Tested and taught,
Prepared to lead
in paths of righteousness.


Prepared for this Work

At the threshold of missionary service
I’m poised.
Wondering if I can do this work,
the confirming thought,
“You have been prepared for this”,
fills my mid with peace.

Remembering all the hours
I have struggled with writing articles
for the Ensign and Stake newspaper,
I see how my talents
have been honed.

I think also of the many difficult
policy decisions and confidences
I had to keep as a City and Stake editor.

I had to learn to make a point
clearly and succinctly,
set priorities, organize,
and work effectively with others.

Being ill has given me needed
understanding of he Gospel.
As I have had time to study
and ponder true principles,
I’ve grown closer
to my Heavenly Father.

Yes, when fears assail me,
I can respond with
the confidant assurance,
that I have been
Prepared for This Work


I prayed to know what I needed to change.
Soon I began to see my weaknesses.
In my anxiousness for perfection
I push myself to make
the creative writing program
the visiting teaching reporting
the response team
the newspaper editing
all perfect NOW!

I am constantly disappointed and frustrated
with the imperfections or family and friends.
I want perfect unity– now!
I don’t want to wait for people to change
I want perfection – now!

I’m learning that though ideals are good
they must be tempered with love.
I must allow others their freedom
to learn from their own experience
in their own time.
I must let go and trust the Lord.

I see that my health challenges
are a course designed
to help me develop
the patience I need.


Taking a consensus
of their values and strengths,
society prescribes our roles..

But I choose, instead,
my own individual path,
defined by the Lord.


Freed from past constraints,
I excitedly enter stores
assessing all that is new,
I assume responsibility
for grocery shopping and weeding.

Unwilling to remain at home alone any longer,
I spend my days out walking,
shopping and doing research at BYU,
and even playing wiffle ball with students.

Overwhelmed by choices,
I attempt to do everything at once
Til painful wrists and knees,
spinning head and fatigue,
Remind me to set priorities
and literally not to run faster
than I have strength.



Called as wife and mother,
I spend my days in
nurturing others,

Carefully on guard that the
mundane concerns of earthly life
do not obscure our eternal goals
or deprive us of  spiritual nourishment.