half a cat

What's bloody and has two legs? Half a cat.

Friday, March 31, 2006

the fabric

Can compassion and service be learned? It possible to form a habit of kindness, of contribution to ones community, of love? If so, how does this occur? Where do we start?

There has been much discussion lately, from several different individuals and arenas in my life, on this very topic. It's been a topic of contemplation for me-- what can I and should I do? If I can only contribute a very little, is it even worth the effort? How can I give more, what is worth the sacrifice, which institution is most deserving of my time?

On Tuesday we had a visiting Chancellor, Dr. Gee, address BYU from Vanderbilt University. He is a past president of Ohio State, West Virgina, and Brown University. His address was titled, "Everything I Know about Being Mormon I Learned from Running Universities." It was a great address, I encourage you to read it. What he said, in sum, is that we are a people of peace and knowledge. It is our lifelong mission to be bearers of peace and bringers of knowledge in whatever sphere we find ourselves. We are no longer a people of Utah, but a worldwide people who can come together and make a difference. And this does not only affect members of the Church, but anyone who has ever partaken of a piece of this world. We cannot sit idly by and watch the world pass by us. We have an obligation to take an active part in influencing this world, somehow, positively.

So, not as a Mormon, but as a piece of the fabric of this world, what can I do to bring peace and knowledge? As a participant, I have this responsibility, as do you.

My sphere of influence is small. I don't have the resources to save Darfur, but I can send a letter to someone who can. I can't open a homeless shelter, but I can pay my taxes and volunteer. I'm not able to parent a child whose real parents are uninterested and uneducated, but I can share a moment with the child, hold them, love them and teach the parents how to do the same.

I also have read a book recently, The Greatest Discovery by Chris Sorensen, which discusses contributions to our family. I wouldn't recommend the book, it's poorly written, but some of its ideas are worth considering. This book suggested, and I completely agree, that the greatest contribution we can make is within the family. Afterall, families are the "building blocks" of society. And so, to answer my first question, my family is the institution where I will spend most of my time and effort.

I can volunteer time, I can educate, I can love, I can serve with my hands and heart. These small differences, these small moments of tenderness and compassion and kindness, will weave peace into the fabric, and the more of us who reach out within our families and communities, the stronger the fabric will be.

Friday, March 17, 2006

the reason for St. Patrick's Day

I love St. Patrick's Day. I've been trying to figure out this week why, and, until this morning, I couldn't come up with a good reason. My thinking is this:

I'm Irish, albeit a very, very small percentage, so I'm not extremely proud to wear the "Kiss Me" buttons. I don't really like the color green all that much, and corned beef is not one of my favorite foods. It IS fun to pinch people so that could be it, but now that I've graduated from elementary school I don't pinch as much as I used to. Why, then, do I get excited for St. Patrick's Day and make my husband wear green?

I walked out of my apartment building this morning and across the parking lot to my car, my beloved car, Little Green. I love her. She's been with me since I was 16. Little Green is growing older, she coughs and sputters more often, she even has the shakes. It takes longer for her to get up and going in the morning, and the type of fuel I buy doesn't matter to her anymore. I worry that Little Green is dying, and there is little I can do to help her now. I have concluded that is why I love St. Patrick's Day, it is a tribute to all that is green and dear to us. For me, St. Patrick's Day is a tribute to Little Green. She's been a good car and friend; dependable, loyal, trustworthy, and she's never given me much trouble. I lovingly dedicate March 17th to Little Green, she deserves this holiday.

Monday, March 13, 2006

book recommendations?

Friends,

You are all very well read, much more than I am, and I am sending out a call for book recommendations. I have just finished my last book and am at a loss for what to start on next. I would like a book which makes me look at something with a new perspective. I know that's pretty broad, but it's my only criteria.

Any suggestions would be helpful and appreciated!

Thursday, March 09, 2006

random babblings


I was saying to myself yesterday morning how lucky I've been to not get sick this winter. A shame, really, to even think it and jinx myself.

I had dreams last night that I couldn't talk. I'd try, but the words wouldn't come out. It's funny how aspects of our lives can manifest themselves in our dreams. I woke up this morning and my throat was soooo scratchy. Jason asked me a question and I really couldn't talk! Well, my office is ridiculously short on staff this week so I came in. My boss has ordered me home after I cover the lunch hour, but I feel sort of silly about it. I don't feel terrible, I just sound terrible. While I welcome an afternoon off, I also feel like a slacker. Ah well.

Beyond my sore throat, things are going well in my life.
a. My sister is getting married, which is very exciting
b. My husband is nearly through mid-terms, also very exciting
c. I'm thinking of joining a choir this spring
d. I'm going to visit my family in less than two months and I haven't been home in well over a year!
e. In just 40 minutes I get to leave work, 4 hours earlier than everyone else

The End

Friday, March 03, 2006

happy songs

I would like to share a list of some of my "happy" songs with you. The criteria for these songs is as follows: (a) when I hear them, I am automatically in a better mood (b) I sing them out loud, very loud, in the car (c) they are not from musicals--since some of you probably think I am incapable of loving songs outside of broadway theater.

These are in happiness order--

1. I Can See Clearly Now (Johnny Nash)
2. Breakfast at Tiffany's (Deep Blue Something)
3. The Way You Make Me Feel (Michael Jackson)
4. A Lifetime (Better Than Ezra)
5. Happy Girl (Martina McBride)
6. Stay (Lisa Loeb)
7. Lullaby (Shawn Mullins)
8. My Sharona (The Knack)
9. Man in the Mirror (Michael Jackson)
10. Beautiful to Me (The Given)

You're probably surprised by my selection, but these songs always cheer me up! :)

Thursday, March 02, 2006

I can be MIGHTY

I've been doing a little soul-searching this last week. My months go in cycles, and I'm not only speaking physiologically (wink wink), but spiritually and emotionally as well. I have several great weeks, and then one or two seemingly unbearable weeks.

I have a lot to do. Not more than others, but my fair share, and I felt like I couldn't spend the amount of time necessary for primary. On Sunday the older kids would not sit still, listen, or show any respect for me or their teachers. It seemed they completely forgot they were in church, and should be reverent and respectful of the Lord's house. Don't misunderstand me, I believe in being silly in Primary. Primary is the one meeting on Sunday where laughter, loud singing, head-shoulders-knees-and-toes, and games are acceptable and actually contribute to the spirit of the meeting. I love Primary. But Sunday was hard, for whatever reason. I came home and cried and felt I wasn't the person for this calling. I felt there were plenty of people better suited than I who could keep the chaos down and the spirit up.

There probably are, but that isn't the point.

That night, as I read in the Book of Mormon, I found a wonderful scripture. "I will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty," (1 Nephi 1:20). I CAN BE MIGHTY. Better yet, I AM MIGHTY! It occurred to me that whatever role we are in, be it friend, mother, father, spouse, daughter, son, employee, primary president--as long as it is a righteous endeavor the Lord's tender mercies, along with our faith, can make us MIGHTY in that aspect of our lives.

I will have more difficult Sundays, but these difficulties and adversities are stepping stones on my way to greatness, to becoming the mighty woman I am supposed to become. So even though Sunday may be difficult, the level of reverence and quiet really doesn't determine the success of the meeting. If God's love for these children is felt by them, with me as a facilitator, then Primary has been a blazing success. That is what will determine my mightiness. And I know that is happening. I know they feel my love every week, and through my unconditional love for them (the depths of which astound even me) they feel the love of the Savior. I HAVE BEEN MIGHTY ALL ALONG!

By the way, another proof of my mightiness-- I've finally lost 6 pounds! I thought it couldn't be done, but I'm on my way!!!