Monday, September 8, 2014

Hard Things All Around Us

Every time I open the newspaper, watch or listen to the nightly news, or even glance at FaceTime 
I am bombarded with tragedies, heart wrenching stories 
and heroic acts of kindness during difficult times.
I am constantly amazed at the strength and resilience of so many people
 as they face disasters in their lives.
Maybe I'm more aware but it seems to me that these hard things seem to be happening more often.
Some people close to me have experienced some life changing events that I'm sure they would of never chosen, but they have truly risen to face and hopefully overcome these times in their lives.
I have a dear close cousin who found out that her husband and father of their nine children had a pornography and gambling addiction that was destroying their relationship together.
After spending many years trying to find answers to his unfaithfulness has divorced him
and gracefully moved on with her life.
She mentions that confiding in her Heavenly Father 
and letting the Savior heal her has been her lifeline.
She is happy, confident, beautiful and faithful as she is moving on as a single woman.
As she always has, she inspires me in her trials instead of me helping her.

My oldest niece has just recently been diagnosed with Breast Cancer.  
She went in for a routine mammogram and they found spots in her lymph nodes
 and after a biopsy was told they were malignant.
She started Chemo last week and is scheduled for 8 rounds of it.
They are being very aggressive in their treatment.  I know the side effects will be difficult,
but she is optimistic and upbeat about this unexpected bump in her life.  
She and her family are truly trusting in the Savior for strength to overcome this hurdle.
Just last week another cousin of mine just minutes after speaking to his wife 
found her dead on floor of their bathroom.
She was very close to my age.  She hadn't felt good the night before but there was no indication of anything seriously wrong with her.
I had prayed for my cousin all week to be comforted in his loss.
My sister, brother and I went to Egan Bench, Idaho to attend her funeral. 
(What a wonderful experience that was to spend time with them for a couple of days.  Of course I didn't take any pictures of the three of us which makes me sad but we had a marvelous time together.) 
My cousin was the strength of the funeral, he was the one that was comforting others.
He never wavered and mentioned to me after the funeral
that even as he found her he was perfectly calm and comforted.
His testimony of the Savior is profound.
They have six married children who were all able to gather together after their mother's passing.
Two days after she was gone they all attended the temple to show their gratitude to the Lord 
for blessing their lives with such a wonderful mom and wife.
The oldest two children spoke at the funeral sharing wonderful memories of their mom and most importantly they both bore incredible testimonies of the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
I came away from this funeral a much better and inspired person.
I knew they had never had much money or worldly possessions, 
but I was astounded as we drove by their home as we were leaving.  
Their home was small, very small, especially for a family of eight.  
In the walls of that tiny home they raised an incredibly righteous family.  
They know what is most important. Their priorities are where they should be. 
What a wonderful example to all of us. 

As I ponder on these events of the past few weeks 
I am amazed at the strength of these dear family members.  
I will continue to pray for all of them, but I realize that I need to pray for me to be like them. 

At times like this I'm always drawn to the scripture in D&C 84:88
. . . I will go before your face, I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up.

I have felt those angels before, they are there waiting to help us 
if we will just open our hearts to the Lord.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Wisdom Montana

Jeff and I tend to do random things.  
Our little trip to Wisdom Montana was one of those random moments which became one of the greatest things we did this summer.
Since Jeff got our new dog, which is a "German Wirehaired Pointer" he has been studying all about the "versatile hunting dog".  I guess Bo classifies as one of those.
He found a dog handlers class to train these "versatile hunters" in Wisdom, Montana.
I had never heard of Wisdom, Montana and neither had Jeff, but google is wonderful in finding anywhere or anything.
Wisdom, Montana is advertised as the 
"Most Remote and Most Beautiful Place in the Lower 48 States".
That it is.
They do have a motel there but we couldn't rent a room unless we were coming for the wedding.
We're not sure what wedding but we didn't make the cut.
We got on our favorite website VRBO (Vacation Rentals By Owner) and found a little cabin for rent.
It was 20 miles out of Wisdom so we were even more remote and beautiful.
I now know why books and songs and poems are written about the amazing Montana Sky.
It is breathtaking!!
Jeff didn't love his class which was great with me 
because then I got to hang out with him one of the days he was supposed to be in class.
Our wonderful and dear friends Cheryl and Cal were in the middle of a road trip 
so they swung over to Wisdom and spent one of the nights with us.
The entire experience was what you would entitle Serendipity.
Wisdom, Montana was surprisingly incredible in every way.
 The first night we got there it had been raining and we were greeted to this incredible rainbow.
The road leading into our little home
The cutest little cabin in the "Big Hole Valley"
 There were little bird houses on several of the fence poles surrounding our cabin.
 I spent most of the days sitting on this porch overlooking the grand openness.
My honey brought me a little wildflower bouquet

I had heard of hay derricks but I did not realize what they were even like until this trip.
They actually use these still.  It was fascinating to watch. 
My two boys!!