Thursday, August 30, 2012

back to school...

This year, I gave the young women I serve in our congregation this for their back to school thinking of you thingy ma jiggy. (it's a technical term. Ahem.)

 I kept it small and simple because, well, that is what I had time for this year. The most important thing to me remains actually going to see the girls, looking them in the eye and letting them know that they are loved and thought about. They walk every day into a minefield, and I want to be sure that they remember that there are people who are praying for them to fight that good fight and to be the young women that God intends for them to be.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

quote of the week...

"It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself."

--Eleanor Roosevelt

Sunday, August 26, 2012


I have been thinking a lot about an experience I had last month while at Education Week. (a weekend where BYU-Idaho opens up the campus to people for 3 days and has hundreds of Continuing Education classes.)

We signed up for a Passover Dinner celebration with Victor Ludlow. He walked us through the entire evening and how the occasion has been celebrated for decades, adding in his own experiences of traveling to the Holy Lands, and sharing insights from his life long study of the Jewish culture and religion.

There were several things about that night that left a lasting impression on me, and one is a portion of the Passover called, "Dayenu." The reader (Ludlow, in this case) reads stanzas as the dinner guests respond, "Dayenu" each time, and then all the guests sing a song.

The word "Dayenu" means, "it would have been enough for us", "it would have been sufficient", or "it would have sufficed" (day in Hebrew is "enough", and enu means "to us"). The stanzas (there are 15)that the reader recites all refer to blessings that God gave the Jewish people, such as deliverance from Egypt. Some of the stanzas refer to the miracles that God gave them, and the dinner guests say, "Dayenu" after each one, like this:

If He had split the sea for us. (dayenu)
If He had led us through on dry land. (dayenu)
If He had drowned our oppressors. (dayenu)
If He had provided for our needs in the wilderness for 40 years. (dayenu)
If He had fed us manna. (dayenu)

I have pondered many time since that night the importance of feeling and recognizing "dayenu" or, for me, what God has done for me and my family that would have been "enough". I think too often, it is easy to think about what we have right now that might be lacking, and not remember all the good in our lives that has come before. Sometimes, I forget all the miracles that have happened in my life...instead I stand and wait impatiently for the next one.

So since that night, I have tried to say my own version of "dayenu" when I feel prompted or pulled to do so. It sounds different every time, and each time I have done it, I feel a swell of gratitude and a surge of perspective. I see in a tender and fresh way that God has indeed been good to me. Here is what one I say might sound like:

If He had given me my body and soul, dayenu.
If He had given me a good husband, dayenu.
If He had kept us both healthy and safe, dayenu.
If He had given us just 1 child, dayenu.
If He had healed my heart of just one wound, dayenu.
If He had given me 1 person to learn from, dayenu.

What I love most about this meditation/prayer/thought process is the unspoken afterthought of, "but He didn't just do that. He gave me more. Much more."

I hope that this little lesson I learned can be of value to someone out there who reads it, and that you can find a way to see what God has done for you that would have been "enough", and even more importantly, how much He gave you after that.

And if you feel for just a moment the love that He has for you, then...dayenu.

Monday, August 13, 2012

quote of the week...

"In my youth I stressed freedom, and in my old age I stress order. I have made the great discovery that liberty is a product of order."

--Will Durant

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

I had to make this...

If you love all of these floating around blogs and Pinterest and Facebook, you should know that you can make your own! Just go to It's super fast and easy.

Monday, August 06, 2012

quote of the week...

"As soon as a man begins to speak negatively about another, I forget every other thing he's ever said."

--Abraham Lincoln

I can't say it enough. What we choose to say about others reveals so much about our character. Gossip, passing along bad stories, judging, whatever you want to call is toxic. It is like a cancer. You cannot feel the love of Christ and then speak hatefully about your neighbor. It is such a habit in our culture to enjoy and even celebrate tearing others down and constantly talk about people's faults. But any temporary charge we get out of feeling "better than" someone else will turn to ashes in our mouths. I love the scripture, "our works will condemn us, Yea: our words will condemn us." I believe that is true. Whether spoken to others or just around our homes where we think it's "safe" day our words, if not chosen carefully, will condemn us.

Thursday, August 02, 2012

a few thoughts on having a blog, and why I owe all men an apology...

Yesterday I was having a text conversation with a dear friend, and she wrote, "Are you going to blog about Education Week?"

To which I replied, "Wait. I have a blog??"


I already know that what I am about to say isn't going to come out the way that I want it to, and I will end up wishing I were someone who could write more clearly the feelings and thoughts I have been having...but I am going to say what I want to in my own meager way.

A few months ago, I started working outside the home. At first it seemed like it would be just a more part time kind of thing, 4 or 5 hours a day, 3 days a week. It has since developed into a 6 to 7 hours a day, 4 days a week kind of thing. I am loving it, it is the right job at the right time. I am blessed.

However. I have noticed that I have not even remotely been able to keep up with many things that I spent hours on before. I do the best that I can, but my best is honestly pathetic right now. I am learning how to plan and schedule but SO much is done last minute, and I have to let go of lots of good things that are just not good enough right now for me to spend time and energy on.

I was considering how hard it is to juggle it all, and I found myself feeling more than a small pang of guilt over the times when I looked at the men in my life: at church, in the neighborhood, and sadly, in my own home, and thought that their efforts were lacking.

I am embarrassed by the times that I thought, "Geesh, how hard is it to email about something?" or "I wonder if the lawn is EVER going to get mowed...I've only mentioned it 12 times." or "We always have to pick up the slack for the men and make sure stuff gets done."

I am exhausted at the end of my work day, and I don't even work full time. What energy I have left I give to my sweet family, because that is as it should be. I find myself on the drive home, gearing up to forget how tired I am and how much I still want and need to do, and I focus on how I can help my children and my husband and my church. I realize now that my husband has done this for 25 years...and overall, I never gave it a thought. I just expected it.

I have always (I hope) been an appreciative wife and a loyal friend to the men in my life...but I can't honestly say that I really ever put myself in their shoes.

So let me say this to the good men I know:

I am sorry. For thinking you had to do more, and that you didn't care as much as I thought you needed to care about certain things. I am sorry for my lack of patience when you didn't do things in the time frame I thought they should be done, or the way I would have done them.

And thank you. Thank you for leaving your homes every day and working to provide for your families. Many of you work at jobs that in a million years I could never work, and you do it day in and day out because you believe in what you do and in who you do it for. Thank you for coming home and listening to the children and women in your lives when they need your love and attention, even when you are tired and worn down with the weight of the world. And thank you for taking on the honey do lists and church responsibilities when you really just want to sleep or watch TV for a bit.

So, as The Hubby's Grandma Peg would say, "That's it." That is all I wanted to say. I wish I could have said it better.

And , yes, I will blog about Education Week. Sometime. :)