Shawls and Shoulders

Friday was the anniversary of the 13th amendment. To celebrate two of my boys, my husband and I watched for the second time Spielberg’s Lincoln.  We hauled a laptop, speakers and projector up to the cabin. We tacked a sheet up over the window for a screen and watched this incredible story of a life well lived. So what were some of my take-aways this time?

  1. Direction may come in the middle of doing. Lincoln is dictating a telegraph after grappling with direction he should go in inviting Southern leaders to Washington for peace talks. After dictating an invitation and prior to it being sent, he asks the two young men if they think people are fitted for the time they here. One answers that he is not so sure about himself but that he believes Mr. Lincoln is. The other responds simply that he is an engineer. That gets Lincoln talking about Euclid, about how he isn’t that educated with engineering but having read Euclid it stuck in his brain and the truth that things that are the same are equal. He has an epiphany at this point and asks that a change be made to his message at which point he instructs those bringing the men up from the South to take them to certain point before they get to Washington and wait till further instructions.
  2. Mary Todd should claim our empathy. After the amendment passes there is a scene where Lincoln is riding in the carriage with his wife. She assures Lincoln that he was not only fit for this time, but extra-ordinarily so. While history would rightly look at him with awe, they would see her as a disparaging uninspiring player in the drama. Then she observes that in reality she represents the ordinary, normal person. Her reactions will demonstrate how the impossible pressures and demands would have taxed any ordinary person.
  3. Being happy or miserable is a choice. Lincoln says to Mary during that carriage ride “We have been miserable too long, we must try to be happy.

Recently I have had similar experiences.  I guess that is why these three things stood out for me.  I ask myself why the Lord has entrusted me with resources and what he needs me to do with them. This morning as I read from the scriptures I received the needed reminder of who it is that wants us to be miserable in this mortal journey. Re-visiting Lincoln’s story was for me like a shawl placed over my shoulders yesterday in the temple. Warming and comforting to an ordinary woman wearied with the weight of burdens she is trying to bear.  This morning I’m reminded who doesn’t want me to be happy. I, like Lincoln says encourages Mary, must try to be happy.

2 Nephi 2:27 Wherefore, men are free according to the flesh; and call things are given them which are expedient unto man. And they are free to choose liberty and eternal life, through the great Mediator of all men, or to choose captivity and death, according to the captivity and power of the devil; for he seeketh that all men might be miserable like unto himself.

Interesting how this scripture talks about all men being free- just like the 13th amendment sought to ensure, and includes a bit about who it is that is not concerned about our being happy.

SL Moms, Get fired up about protecting your kids this WEEK!

Women for Decency Holladay Utah Chapter Meeting, Tuesday, October 8, 2013, 11:00 a.m. to 12 noon.
Place: Holladay Library, 2150 Murray Holladay Rd, Holladay, UT 84117Screen Shot 2013-10-07 at 3.12.10 PM

Speaker: Russ Warner, CEO of ContentWatch, makers of Net Nanny will talk about 7 Online Traps for Kids including pornography, YouTube, sexting, sexual predators, social networks, identity theft, and cyberbullying. Get tips on how to prevent these things.


Thursday at the South Jordan Library, 10673 S. Redwood Road October 10, 7 p.m.
The South Jordan Chapter of Women of Decency Presents: Jennifer Graves, Josh Powell’s sister addressing the topic, “A Light in Dark Places.” Graves will be talking about how pornography contributed to the Josh Powell tragedy.

Invite your friends, all are welcome.

Yikes! my journal is full

Is it already time to buy a new journal? Mine is full. Since each night I try and write a few things in my journal that I am grateful for that day the small journals that tuck nicely into the nightstand by the side of my bed fill up fast. Most of the time it is easy to think of things to write about. Sometimes it isn’t. Depends on the day.

I have been doing this for so long now that its almost as if there is not closure to the day if I can’t get out my journal and make an entry. I ask myself a question before I write: How did I see God’s hand in my life today? How was I blessed with insight or a prompting to do something that filled a need? What mercy was shown to me today? Sometimes I identify the things I write down with the appropriate heading tying it into one of my questions to show, yes indeed, God was present in my life today.


Sod success


The other day I missed not being able to write about my adult children helping each other with a recent move and a backyard sod laying sod party. I think I was able to squeeze into the margins of my now full journal how nice I thought it was that my daughter helped out at her cousin’s bridal shower by doing the dishes afterwards. When I went into the kitchen she was in there alone, busily working away.


I discovered a few weeks ago in a cleaning frenzy that my youngest son has a couple of journals that he started some years ago. There are entries on the first page of each. Thats it. In the spirit of conservation and laziness I’m tempted to consolidate his two journals with scissors and glue and save myself a trip to the book store. I can hardly wait for this day to be over so I can write again.

Someday maybe my children will read my journals. I hope their experience prompts realization that Mom made a concerted effort to recognize God in her life and to get nearer to Him.

I’ve read some of my ancestor’s journals. If it isn’t a specific autobiographical sketch they usually are rather routine like John Hardison Redd’s journal despite the high prospect of crossing the American plains from Nauvoo to the Salt Lake Valley. He had been a sea captain so I think he was used to writing things like “Balmy weather today” or “Rain”  But I wonder if he ever experienced a stampede or saw Indians or gave his 14 year old son Lemuel tips on how to handle the ox team he was driving.

I wish he would have written let us in on some of his adventure or what he prayed for on a particularly trying night and if and when God answered his prayer.

My husband once had a new years resolution to not be boring in his journal writing. At one point he showed me some completing engaging entries and said he figured if he wrote about the kids they’s like reading it. What do you think about that approach?