Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year

23 12 2015

ringsAt this Christmas Season I have to give thanks for the greatest things in my life.

It may seem odd because of the things she says about me, but first of all I am grateful for my mom. She taught me some great principles early in life that helped me build a strong foundation up on which I’ve built my life, and my self, and most importantly my testimony in Christ; which is my rock and the essence of my foundation, which gives me strength to stand and move forward with a smile and humor and love

I may seem somewhat rebellious, I’m not really, I just do not conform to societal norms, and that makes me seem rebellious, to society, and to what is generally deemed ‘normal’.

chainsAnd in reality, those are the things that my mother taught me, to stand up for what I believe in and love what it is feels right in my heart despite the pressures of peer persuasion.

So in teaching me that, which was what she did, and it was the right thing, she did not understand that she was teaching me to rise above the expectations of others, and carve my own groove, even if it did not resonate harmoniously with the vibrations of those around me.

Because my vibe is one of peace, that I love, and it’s ironic that everyone who I spend time with loves the time we’ve spent together, yet my family finds my life somehow unacceptable.I know ma ABCs!

But that’s the funny thing about life. We learn to love things in our personal ways that only we understand by having to endure the uncomfortableness and displeasure required to know the joys of life.

And that is why older people are calm and wise and happy and patient and find joy in small and simple things, such as the noise children make or the chirping of birds early in the morning, that used to annoy us as young people.

IMG_1679.CR2I am thankful for my dad. We don’t speak anymore because we are two completely different people. But he showed me by example all my life to be just like him, but taught my through principles and lessons of love to become my own person and achieve those things I love by not being concerned with what other people think of me.

Which is ironic too, because he was always concerned about what I did, because of the way it would reflect on him, but he made me into the unique and somewhat rebellious, flowery, charismatic and creative, artistic person I became whether he knows it or not. In our times of private discussion, that I used to hate because they were arduous and almost abusive lectures, he taught me grit, integrity, strength and tenacity that I couldn’t have gotten on the football field or basketball court or anywhere else in life.

He made me the compassionate badass that I am today, and I am grateful because he gave me the strength to endure the almost unendurable pains of life after divorce, losing everything I ever wanted, to find myself again and have meaning and purpose in life every new day, to wake up, even if I’m alone with a smile, and laugh and make every day worth while.

_DSC0079.NEFAnd I love my sister, Shannon, who I miss so much. We had so much fun growing up. She has a wonderful husband and wonderful kids, I’m so proud of her I can’t even put it into words.

And my friends. You know who you are, no need to give names or a list. We will be together in spirit or in body or on the other side. Get some and Go Again!

maxfeetAnd of course my children. I may not be with them, but I am with them because I made them and I am a part of them, I am in their hearts whether they think of me or not, and they are in mine and we exist because of one another and they give me joy and strength in this life to endure until the next life where there will be no sadness or memories of loss. All joy and love. So that is why I just love them so much, because they honor me by being just like me even though they don’t even realize they are.

They are kooky, hilarious, musical, creative, artistic, brilliant, intelligent, gorgeous, compassionate, unique, beacons of badassery and brightness, just like I taught them to me, each an individual, each of them together as one.

idahomountainsThank God for my life and for my Savior Jesus Christ who made this life possible and who make it possible for me to have the love for these wonderful people I love and that I will be able to love them for eternity.

Merry Christmas. Remember what this holiday season is. It’s not to get presents or eat food or have blinking lights on a tree. It’s to remember that we have a Savior who made it possible for us to have the joys we feel at this holiday season. Without Him, we would not know this happiness. Give thanks, and make the world a better place in 2016.

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Give because it’s the right thing to do

14 01 2011

Sometimes you have something to say to someone that they need to hear. It’s the answer they are looking for, but it’s not the answer they want and it’s not scratching the itch they’re feeling at the moment. So you offer it up and it’s not received in the way you hope it will be received.

What do you do? Do you get angry, frustrated, begin to point out how this person is missing the picture or missing your point? No, that doesn’t help anything. You’ve set out to try to uplift someone and if they don’t absorb what your offering, certainly don’t respond by tearing them down and giving them a dose of, “Well if you don’t take what I’m giving then I’ll put you in your place, mister!”

You’ve put it out there and it’s out there. It got to them the best it could and it will come back at a time when it’s able to fit into position within them, to settle in and be of value to them. It can’t be forced if there’s no holding place for it to settle into. Time needs to pass and experience needs to create that holding place for your words to comfortably settle in and and take their place to have meaning and fortify their being.

I once offered a homeless man a cup of hot chocolate I bought for him, specifically for him. My son Spencer, eight years old at the time told me to give a homeless man a cup of hot chocolate as a gift of compassion while we were out that day. I thought that was an amazing request and was so happy that he had been learning good things at such a young age. As his dad I was going to take the opportunity to follow through and solidify in his young and developing character the value of giving, service and compassion.

So we walked into Starbucks and I bought hot chocolate for the three kids and an extra for the sign-holder and went down to the street level and I held out the cup of hot chocolate to the man who is holding a cardboard sign, which is telling us, “anything helps.” It was winter and it was cold. He was bundled up with gloves and a hat to cover his ears and head and he was huddling up to keep warm. I thought it was a nice gesture. I said, “here’s some hot chocolate, we got it just for you.”

He just looked at me and said, “I can’t hold it.”

I repeated and said, “I just bought it for you, it’s fresh warm, and it’s good.”

He said again, “I can’t hold it.”

So, what was I supposed to do? Get upset and react in anger? Being turned down is something you don’t hope for, but it happens and it’s OK. The point is that my little guy had the heart to make this offering of compassion to someone he saw in need, and he did it without worrying about what others around him might think. He was only concerned for this man who was holding out his hand.

So we took the hot chocolate and were going to offer it to someone else but there was nobody else around to give it to. We shared it and it was good, and we talked about this experience and we were able to see that sometimes people who are in need don’t want what you have to give and that it’s OK. The important thing is to offer, and to love them. Their reaction or response is their responsibility. Our responsibility is to be kind and to give what we can. If it is not understood that is OK. Sometime in the future that guy will remember the group of people who offered that hot chocolate to him and that memory will have some meaning and value. That day it didn’t, but that doesn’t mean that the experience was meaningless. It was important on many levels, and a selfish reaction of anger or contempt because of the rejection by the beggar would have turned that opportunity into something ugly and nasty.

Let’s all rise above ourselves and make the best out of every situation, and when we are rejected or surprised by the reactions of others, let’s be grateful for the opportunity we had to make any sort of offering whether it was accepted or not.

The moral to this story is to be bold, but not overbearing.  Be compassionate, but not forceful in giving.  Do things for the benefit of others, to make the future better, to make the world a better place.  Remember that your influence is like a seed being planted.  At the moment you plant it, it is unseen, buried and goes unnoticed.  But in time it grows and nobody remembers who planted it or where it came from, but the tree is there to offer fruit and shade and beauty to countless people who find themselves in its way.  To be noticed for your efforts is not the reward.  To bring comfort to the lives of others is.







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