Wednesday, April 4, 2018

A God of Miracles

Written in April 2010 for One Eternal Round
A few years ago, it was not uncommon for me to feel beaten down. As the mother of two preschool boys, it seemed like the dishes and the laundry were never done, and the house was always messy. My husband was in grad school and was also serving as the bishop.  I was lonely, I was tired, and I was grouchy. I worried that my bad temper would have lasting negative effects on my family. One day, I opened my scriptures and read Alma 26. Though I had read this chapter many times, verses 26 and 27 had a new meaning to me, and I read them with my own interpretation:
“But behold, my beloved, we came into the wilderness of parenthood not with the intent to destroy our children, but with the intent that perhaps we might teach them and love them and prepare them for their life missions.  Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said, Go amongst thy children, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success.”
Reading those verses connected me to Him. I knew that He knew my struggles and frustrations. I felt less alone in my efforts as a mother.  My short fuse became a little longer, at least for that day. It was a small miracle.
It always amazes me that God knows me and is aware of my needs and wants. Last Friday, I lost my keys and looked EVERYWHERE for them. I looked again on Saturday; I looked again on Sunday. On Sunday evening, after our marriage and family class at church, my husband inadvertently locked HIS keys in the car. There we were, stuck  – mom, dad, 2 boys, and an infant in a car seat with no stroller. We could have walked home, but we had no way to get in to our apartment. We’re the apartment managers, and our friend with a spare key was out of town. Outside in the parking lot, my husband prepared to call roadside assistance to break in to the car and retrieve the keys.  Inside the church, I put down the diaper bag and decided to look again, taking things out. Here are the wipes, here are the extra sleepers, here are the diapers, here is my planner, HERE ARE MY KEYS!!!! I shrieked with delight and ran out to the parking lot. My husband had just uttered a silent prayer. We were saved.
I know that sometimes there is no instant miracle. Sometimes things don’t work out right away. People get locked out, become sick, lose jobs, have accidents, ruin relationships, and suffer, but in the end, things work out. I really believe this. Romans 8:28 says it well: “And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.”
Do you believe in miracles? Please share your stories, if you feel so inclined.

Gratitude and Pain

I originally wrote this in 2010 for One Eternal Round. I stumbled across it today and want to save it here. 
A few weeks ago, I got sick. It came on steadily throughout the day. I felt tired and miserable. My body ached. When DH got home, he sent me to bed. As I laid there, I started identifying where I felt pain. My waist hurt. My toes hurt. My belly button hurt. My elbows hurt. My knees and wrists hurt. All the places in between hurt. As I was lying there feeling sorry for myself, my thoughts broadened. Some people are in constant pain because of illness or disease. I felt both grateful and ashamed – grateful that pain was rare in my life, ashamed at how much more good I could be doing with my health and energy. I remembered Christ, whose pain in Gethsemane was so exquisite that He shed drops of blood. I thanked him silently for His sacrifice and for the love that motivated it. In this mindset, I fell asleep.
When I woke up the next morning, I was much better – still tired, but not in pain.
I write about this because I want to remember it. It seems like I don’t fully appreciate my comfort until I feel pain. It seems like, at least in my life, pain and gratitude are linked.  I wonder how many other blessings I don’t recognize because they have always been there.
Is pain useful in your life? How do you help yourself to recognize blessings?

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

RSBC 2018: Week 4

My totals for the glorious month of RSBC:

Running: 20.8 miles 

Swimming: 0.6 miles  

Biking: 23.5 miles 

I did not get close to Ironman distances. I did have a good time, learned some things, and, for the first month ever, did something in each of the four areas. Can't wait for next year! Thanks, Christy and Kara!

Monday, February 26, 2018

RSBC 2018: Week 3

It wasn't much of a week for logging miles. It was a week of fighting germs, sneezing, coughing, and aching. Today was my first day back in the land of the living. Here are my mileage totals:

Running: 19.9 miles (out of 26.2) -- progress 

Swimming: 0.6 miles  (out of 2.4) -- didn't swim this week

Biking: 23.5 miles (out of 112) -- didn't bike at all

As for cooking, I made a delicious chicken noodle soup with a Thai twist , and super nachos for dinner with a Mexican chopped salad.  Guess what food I discovered that I love?! Hot, pickled jalapenos. So good! 

Mmmm, beef cooked in bacon fat!

Tune in next week for my final report. 

Monday, February 19, 2018

RSBC 2018: Week 2

This will be short and sweet. Here's my mileage progress to date: 

Swimming: 0.6 miles  (out of 2.4) -- didn't swim last week

Running: 11.9 miles (out of 26.2)

Biking: 23.5 miles (out of 112)

For cooking, I followed this recipe and made tacos al pastor. Grilled pineapple is sooooo good. So so good. Forgive my cell phone photo. Here's my grilled pork and pineapple waiting to be consumed with cilantro and onions on corn tortillas with smoky salsa. 

From Wikipedia
"Al pastor (from Spanish, "shepherd style"), also known as tacos al pastor, is a dish developed in Central Mexico that is based on shawarma spit-grilled meat brought by the Lebanese immigrants to Mexico.[1] Being derived from shawarma, it is also similar to the Turkish döner kebab and the Greek gyros. Although shawarma and döner are usually lamb-based (thus the "shepherd-style" name), gyros and tacos al pastor in Mexico are pork based. In some places of northern Mexico, as in Baja California, this taco is called taco de adobada."

Given the similarities with shawarma and kebabs, it's no wonder that I loved tacos al pastor when we visited Mexico City last year. Grilling it at home is not the same as having the meat sliced off a huge trompo, but it's still darn good.