Friday, February 21, 2014

Am I Prepared?...

I have been thinking a lot about preparation lately.  It seems like we are always preparing for something.  Both physical and spiritual.  For the past month our family has been working on some of our "physical" preparation with food storage.  We have been trying to live for a month without going to the grocery store to see how we would do if we could not go shopping.  None of us, except for Lance, were very excited about this.  It took preparation to try and decide where our food storage needed bulking up and what we would need to store and purchase for all of us to be somewhat happy for 28 days without replenishing our food supply.  We have not been perfect.  I did allow myself one stop at the store, half way through to get a little more milk and fruit and veggies.  We have 7 days left.  We have actually done pretty well and I am sure that we have saved a lot of money.  I feel better prepared and I know that I have a little bit more knowledge and confidence in our abilities.  This all came through preparation.

I know that the same thing should be done with our spiritual preparation.  I have been thinking a lot about Trevin and Tatum lately, big shocker.  I think that as the world around me becomes more and more wicked and unbearable I start to think about the predictions and prophecies in the scriptures that talk about these days.  I see so many fulfillment's of these prophecies.  I think in the past two or three years we have leap frogged into incredibly scary times.  I had been pondering for several weeks about how and what I need to do to prepare myself better.  When I die I want to be able to face my Savior and have Him know that I lived a good life, I followed His commandments to the best of my abilities, that I loved my family, I was a good mom and wife, that I was a good person that tried to help those around me, that I stood up for truth, that I was a good representative of Him,  etc.  When I see Trevin and Tatum again, I want them to look at me and see who I have become and say "Well done Mom, Well done".  I want them to know that I learned from our time together.  That I didn't wallow in self pity, that I appreciated who they were and what they came to do and accomplish.  That I became a better person because of our relationship and experiences.  There time and efforts were not wasted.

On Wednesday Halea and Hilary and I met one of my good friends at the BYU Museum of Art to see the exhibit there called The Sacred Gifts.  Halea was maybe supposed to be in school, but I kidnapped her from the Great and Spacious Building and took her to a different kind of school:)  All of the art work is religious and they are from three different famous artists, the pieces are from several different countries and churches,  On loan to BYU for a time.  It was an amazing experience and I was so glad that Halea and Hilary got to come and enjoy the spirit that could be felt from these paintings.  As we were driving up to the Museum Hilary was asking what the paintings were going to be about.  Before I could tell her she saw a huge picture of the Savior on the building.  She pointed and yelled out, "Jesus!".  Yep.   I am not sure how anyone could ever look at those paintings and not believe in divine inspiration.  They are simply stunning.  Afterwards we ate at the little cafe above the museum.  If you look close you will actually witness Hilary eating something besides candy!  A fruit kabob.  A true miracle, captured on camera.
Wednesday night was our Relief Society gospel class.  I always look forward to it because we have such a great teacher who always adds such a new deeper perspective to the scriptures.  Things that we have read for years make so much more sense when you understand the culture and some of the meanings of words.  It is so fun to take these New Testament stories that we are all familiar with and really pick them apart and study them.  I love reading and trying to understand better the life of our Savior.  I know that understanding Him better will inspire me to live a better life more in line with what He would hope for me.   We learned that the last "public" teaching that the Savior gave was the parable about the Ten Virgins.  You know the story, 5 Prepared, 5 were not.  We really picked apart a lot of the deeper meanings and symbolism of this parable.  It means so much more than I ever understood.  We discussed that our daily acts of kindness and keeping the commandments are what start to build up inside of us (our oil).  Through these acts we try to pattern our lives after Christ and slowly we begin to know Him.  The flame illuminates who we are inside, (the flame in our lamp).  The flame is how the Savior recognizes who we are.  I have always been really stressed about spiritual preparation because I have a terrible understanding of the scriptures and I have an even worse memory. I could have read a scripture yesterday, and I won't understand it or remember it tomorrow.  It is pitiful.   The last thing that struck me in class was the last thing that our teacher said.  "It isn't what you know, it's who you know", meaning we must know the Savior, and have our hearts changed and full of love for our fellow men and for Him, the Savior of the World..
It was such a great day, until I got home and realized that I had lost my Tatum bracelet, that I have worn everyday since her funeral, somewhere in between the museum and coming home from class that night.  I felt really sick for a second, and then I decided I would retrace my steps and try to find it.  If I can't it will just have to be OK.  I have looked a few places, and have not found it yet.

The last few days have been really busy with hospital things and just regular life things.  On Thursday when I was at one of the hospitals that I work at, I noticed that at the nurses station they have a TV up on the wall and it is looping pictures with messages typed on each photo.  I started watching it because there were pictures of our nurses and doctors.  All of a sudden up pops a picture of Tates!  It said something like, "children hold our hands for but a little time but hold our hearts forever".   How thoughtful of them to put her picture in that video for me.  What a sweet surprise.  I love being surrounded by her memory.
Despite the crazy few days, I did take time to realize that the daffodils that my friends planted in the fall are starting to come up!!  I really hope that the ground hog was wrong and that spring is coming.

I did also discover that there is a thing called Marshmallow Chocolate milk!  This could be very bad.

I also learned that it is always really bad to drop the powdered sugar in the pantry.  Lesson learned.

 Tonight Lance and I went back to the museum with some of our good friends.  It was a great date night.  So fun to talk about the paintings and enjoy the spirit there.  I also ran in to an old neighbor there and some good friends from the hospital.  It was a super fun night with  fun surprises. I know that Lance would be just fine sitting at home so I really appreciate him humoring me and allowing me to have social time with him and good friends.

One of the artists at the museum tonight, Heinrich Hoffman, had painted an amazing picture of the Savior.  He said he had painted it for himself, but his friends had urged him to display it in his gallery.   He said that he had wanted to hang it over his bed and have this question by it, "Have you lived this day in my spirit according to my commandments?".  I think this is something I want to reflect upon every day.  Have I lived the way the Savior would have wanted me to?  Am I becoming better every day? Am I prepared?

Funny thing that Hilary sang today: "When people die, we get to see them again. Jesus takes care of people. I love my dad."  She is like a living musical.  She is also singing the snowman song from Frozen that is adorable.  I'll say it again, I wish I could freeze her right about now.

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