Friday, April 22, 2011

Trash = Treasure

It's been said that 'one person's trash is another man's treasure'. I have a cabbage patch doll that I got when I was 6. It has scuff marks all over it's face and head. The outfit it has on has a small stain on the back and little fluff bunnies all over it. There is some kind of soda pop stain on it's left knee, and the entire skin of the baby is kind of dingy looking. Most people probably look at this doll and think I should trash it, however this doll is a priceless treasure to me.

Twenty-four years ago this week my little sister, Tara, was born. Tara has down syndrome and had some serious health challenges when she was first born. During that time she was held in the nicu of the hospital and being such a small child I was not allowed in there. This was a terrible thing for me, I had waited a long time for a little sister to play with and now she was here and no one would let me see her. I remember standing outside the door peering in the window as different family members would go in and see her. I even have pictures of me standing around crying because I wanted to see her so badly.

Eventually the day came that Tara was released from the hospital and I would finally get to meet her. I anxiously sat in a waiting area of the hospital while my parents went in to get my sister. When the big brown doors opened my mom came out holding my baby sister, she was followed by my dad and a nurse who also had something in her arms. My mom sat down next to me and introduced me to my sister. The nurse then approached me and handed me a brand new baby cabbage patch doll with a hospital band around it's wrist proclaiming me as it's mother. My mom and I both left the hospital that day cradling our newborns.

Over the next while every time my mom sat down to feed my sister I would be sitting right next to her feeding a bottle to my own baby. My baby doll got it's diaper changed, took a bath, and was rocked to sleep at the exact same time my baby sister did. You could say they were practically twins! I felt so close to my mom and my sister as we did all of these things together.

Well my sister outgrew the diapers and I outgrew playing with dolls, but we never outgrew each other. Tara and I are still the best of friends doing many things together. Whenever I look at my seemingly banged up little cabbage patch doll I recall those tender moments we had when she was just small and the love that bonded us together for a lifetime.

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

So Much To Say...

I know it's been a while since I've really sat down and written something least it feels like it has...but life has a way of getting busy and certain things are higher on my list of priorities. A lot has been happening and I could probably write a navel about what I've been thinking, doing, and learning lately. I'll spare you the details though and try to keep this short and sweet by simply giving some highlights.

First on my mind right now is General Conference. Wow, what a wonderful 2 days of messages from the leaders of the church. Elder Holland said that if you listen with the spirit you will find a personal epistle in at least of of the messages shared...I found several. As I look back over the notes I took I find so many little nuggets of inspiration for things I am struggling with right now. I find counsel that seems to magnify the counsel given to me by my bishop in recent discussions we've had. Most importantly I find answers to my prayers. I love the spirit conference brings into my life. It is truly a light in the midst of dark times. I will be spending the next six months pondering these messages and applying the principles taught into my life.

Another idea that has been on my mind a lot lately is making the best of difficult circumstances. I believe that we are truly as happy as we decide to be. However, sometimes things happen in our lives that make it really hard to feel happy. I have been striving to be happy no matter what is going on around me. It's not easy, but I know that the harder I try the stronger it is making me. I read the following quotation in a book I read recently and love the message of it. "We can spend our days bemoaning our losses, or we can grow from them. Ultimately the choice is ours. We can be victims of our circumstance or masters of our own fate, but make no mistake, we cannot be both." I choose to be a master of my own fate. I choose to decide what effects my happiness and what doesn't. It's a work in progress for me, but I like the way it's going.

Finally I will post the results of my March Madness book reading goal. I truly loved doing this and feel like it really helped me in combating the time-suck monster I wrote about a few weeks ago. During the month of March I read 8 books!
Before My Heart Stops by Paul Cardall
Tramp for the Lord by Corrie Ten Boom
Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins
Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins
Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis
The Golden Spiral by Lisa Mangum
Reaching Higher by Steven Cramer
Cold as Ice by Stephanie Black
I love reading and during the month I read some fun fictional books and some inspirational books that got me thinking. I hope to continue being able to read as much as I did this month. Reading opens up a part of me that is really hard to explain. Life just seems comfortable and right when I am engrossed in reading. I ordered two more books today that I'm excited to read and have several books at home that I have bought and never got around to reading. I'm looking forward to keeping this habit of reading going. Maybe I'll post a list of the books I've read at the end of each month...just as a bit of FYI for you who read this and a motivation for me to not slack off! Ha!