Saturday, June 18, 2016

Odds & Ends

Happy Saturday!

UPDATE:  Kevin is doing better.  He isn't throwing up and everything else anymore. (I'm hoping you can figure out what the everything else has been without me spelling it out for you.....wink, wink). Thank goodness!  This is what happens when he runs out of his medication and he doesn't tell me when he's almost out, so I can try and budget our money to make sure he doesn't run out.  It's so frustrating.  Some days I want to treat my husband like a little kid and monitor every move he makes and then I think better of that because that would be like taking away the one thing he still has.  I just can't do it.  So I've got to work out a better way to keep up on those medicines.  Then at the same time, try to budget what little bit of money I get.  Yes, I work, but when Kevin is not well I stay home to care for him.  That means my checks have been cut in half or more lately.  Not only are we down Kevin's income, but we are down most of mine too.  It's so hard.  I feel like my entire checks go to gas and electricity every single payday, with the occasional water bill, phone bill, and then of course, medications.  That's about all there is room for.  I've been trying to stay at work more.  BUT, then episodes like the one last week happen.  How do I not stay home to care for him right now?  I can't leave him in all of that.  That's just cruel.  How do I decide what is more important?  Pay for medications or pay for gas and electricity, and then deal with the results of Kevin not getting his meds when he needs them......and why should I have to decide?  It's so frustrating.  Thank heavens for our church (our Bishop) and our family that has helped out when they can.  This time it's been my parents, my son and my daughter.  I couldn't do it without their help and I really do appreciate all they do for us.  These are the blessings I thank my Heavenly Father for each and every single day.

Our poor mechanic!  I feel so bad.  I guess our car is causing him all kinds of fits.  I really feel bad. I wish there was something I could do to stop the insanity for him.  But I have to say, he has been amazing through all of this!  Totally amazing!!  It looks like we won't see our car until after Tuesday...or so, depending on if he can fix the issue.  He tried to run it through emissions today and they gave him a slip of paper and told him not to come back until after Tuesday.  Holy cow!  I guess the car wasn't ready for emissions yet.  Talk about a temperamental car!  The car has to cycle through before it's ready.  Sheesh!  Dumb car.  
The fact that he is trying to run it through emissions for me is HUGE!  I'm telling you the folks down at Harwood Auto Repair are awesome!  

Shifting gears.....so to speak.

I'm totally into making things from scratch today.  When I was contemplating what to make for dinner's this weekend, I ran across this recipe.  They look awesome.  Well...it's down a little further....

Today we are making Navajo Tacos, and you know what that means.....Fry Bread.  I found a super quick recipe that doesn't have to rise, but it isn't as good as the one I have that has to rise.  If we were just eating the Fry Bread with butter and not making Navajo Tacos out of them, I'd take the time to let the dough rise.  This quick dough will work just fine for our tacos.

WAIT!!!  Time for plan B....

The quick fry bread recipe is awful!  So, we are scrapping the Fry Bread and making something super quick.  Frozen burritos are what's for dinner tonight. Tomorrow we will try and make the Fry Bread with the tried and true recipe that has to rise.  

Here is the recipe I mentioned earlier.  

These biscuits might be good with dinner sometime.  I'll let you know how we liked these when we make them.

Wisconsin Cheddar and Chive Biscuits
3 1/2 cups flour
4 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
3/4 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. black pepper
10 Tbsp. butter, chopped
1 cup grated cheddar cheese
4 tbsp. fresh chives, chopped
1 1/2 cups buttermilk  (I use milk and lemon juice)
Preheat oven to 400°.  Grease a baking sheet.  Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and pepper into a large bowl.  Rub the butter into dry ingredients until the mixture resembles coarse bread crumbs.  Add the cheese and chives and stir to mix.  Make a well in the center of the mixture.  Add the buttermilk and stir until the batter comes away from the sides of the bowl.  Drop in 3 tbsp. mounds spaced 2-3 inches apart onto baking sheet.  Bake for 12 -14 minutes until golden brown.

A LIST.....

1. Where is your cell phone? Coffee Table
2. Your significant other? Kevin
3. Your hair? Straight down
4. Your mother? Judy
5. Your father? John
6. Your favorite thing? family
7. Your dream last night? About buying a home
8. Your favorite drink? Pink Lemonade with lots of ice
9. Your dream/goal? en route
10. The room you're in? Living Room
11. Your ex? Don't have one
12. Your fear? mice, snakes, all bugs and creepy crawlies in general
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Better off financially
14. Where were you last night? here
15. What you're not? tall
16. Muffins? pumpkin spice or lemon poppy seed
17. One of your wish list items? getaway
18. Where you grew up? here
21. Your TV? off
22. Your pets? We are pet grandparents, we do not have a pet of our own.
23. Your computer? busy
24. Your life? Content
25. Your mood? excited
26. Missing someone? Curtis
27. Your car? in the shop
28. Something you're not wearing? shoes
29. Favorite Store? Hobby Lobby
30. Your summer? insane
31. Like someone? friends
32. Your favorite color? Pink
33. When is the last time you laughed? this morning
34. Last time you cried? yesterday

Things on my to do list today

  1. Clean - Evening cleaning, how weird is that?!
  2. Laundry
  3. Call a friend
  4. Make dinner - Fry Bread
  5. Download some documents
  6. Email the documents
  7. De-clutter a space
  8. Feed the dog
  9. Move some furniture
  10. Move my doors from the driveway.  (I HOPE!)
I've been contemplating this question for a while now.  Here is the question....

   Did you grow up thinking you were better than non-Mormons?
Is that something you were taught, that those outside the church were lesser thans?  Was it preferable that you stick to socializing with other Mormons?  

Here are some of the answers I found to these questions......

1) I don't think I was ever taught this directly, but when all the routine LDS teachings come together it's hard not to believe this if you take it all literally. But yes, I did grow up thinking I was better, I took a lot of pride in being in the one true church.

2) I don't think I was ever taught this directy

3) I was never taught I was better than non-mormons either, and I personally never felt I was (I had a pretty low self-esteem, I thought everybody in the world was better than me).
However, it is obvious that SOME mormons do think they're better than non-mormons. I know a few mormons who literally didn't have any non-mormon friends at all, their entire social life revolved around the church. Even at school/work they'd only talk to non-mormons when they needed to.

How sad is that!?!?!

I found it pretty interesting to read these answers. 

 I have watched friends I know treat non-Mormons like they were better than, and I've watched friends only associate with Mormons and only talk to non-Mormons when they had to.  Frankly, I think that is pretty sad.  I wasn't raised this way and we didn't raise our children this way either.  In fact, I am shocked and embarrassed by how some Mormons treat non-Mormons.  It's a shame.  I think the Mormons are missing out on some people that could become lasting friends if they would open their eyes and truly see.  It's like living with tunnel vision.

Before I go on, if you are reading and you are not LDS, here's a quick explanation of how this works.  In the LDS church, all service is voluntary.  All service is rendered for free and willingly.  No paid ministry.  No paid musicians.  All service is donated service.  The Bishop leads the ward (congregation).  He, along with two counselors, prayerfully determine who serves in which positions.  You are called to serve where you are needed and for the most part, this is always a position that we end up growing and learning to love.   Each organization (the men, the women, the young women, young men, the children, the Sunday School) has a president and two counselors, who discuss and prayerfully submit names for available positions needing to be filled to the Bishopric, who then, in turn, prayerfully decide if this is where you will serve at this time or if you are still needed where you are currently serving or if there's a better place for you at the moment.  The Bishop or his counselors "Call" you to the position. You may say no but for the most part, we serve where we are asked. There's no campaigning for a calling because, quite frankly, it wouldn't do you any good! This method of leadership and callings works.  Amazingly, wonderfully well, it works.

I had an amazing paradigm shift the other day, and although it reveals another of my many weaknesses, I feel impressed to share this experience....(Long entry.  Sheesh, why do the more personal and deeper thoughts always end up so long?)
I've experienced some Mormons who think they are better than I even though I am Mormon too.  That's right folks....it happens within our faith too.  In fact, it happened to me just last week.  I was all excited about a new calling I received and thinking this was going to help me better understand why this particular thing is so important.  I was humble and ready to learn.  Until right after the call was issued and someone who apparently thinks she is better than I decided to let me know just how important my new calling was.  In fact, I got looks from a couple of people when that day as this person said what she felt she needed to say.  Now, I don't know if I should just.  Do I do what they are expecting and slack and not do my calling, because that's all they think I am capable of?  OR  Do I prove them wrong and show them what I am capable of?  On one hand I want to run.  On the other hand I don't know why these individuals think they are any better than I.  And then my thoughts go to the story of the Parable of the Divers.  Here I am, from what these people would call, the wrong side of the tracks trying to do my best, while they do their perfect swan dives with pointed toes without making a splash.  Then I remembered the words from the paragraph after the Parable of the Divers story in the book Following Christ.  Here is what it says....

"I have a friend to whom life has been unkind.  Though she married in the temple, her husband proved unfaithful and eventually abandoned her and their small children.  Since her ex-husband has never paid a penny in child support, my friend works full time to support herself and her kids.  For several years she also went to school at night to improve her financial situation.  Therefore, of necessity, she could not be with her children as much as she would have liked and could not always give them the guidance and discipline they needed.  It just wasn't possible in her difficult circumstances.  One result of her less-than-perfect family situation was troubled teenagers.  Now in middle age she is faced with raising some of her grandchildren---again, all alone.  Without a faithful companion, without the priesthood in her home, without the blessings that are realized where the ideal family setting is possible, it is almost inevitable that my friend should feel that her "scores" as a wife and mother, and perhaps even as a person, aren't very high.  When she goes to church and sees other "ideal" LDS families, when she hears them bear their testimonies and give thanks for all their spiritual and temporal blessings, she sees in her mind the judges holding up scorecards that say 9.9 or 10.0.  When she looks at her own life, her own failed marriage, her own troubled children, she knows that the scores are much lower, and she worries about her place in the kingdom. 
Well, she needn't worry, for she is as faithful to her covenants in her troubles as the rest of us are in our blessings.  True, there are some things she cannot do, but these are the result of her circumstances, not choice pursued by her own free will, and where there is no choice, there can be no condemnation.  I have no doubt that when the "degree of difficulty" is factored in for the life she leads, her crown will shine brighter than many others, for God always factors into his judgments the "degree of difficulty" 
Whenever I am tempted to feel superior to other Saints, the parable of the divers comes to mind, and I repent.  At least at a swim meet, we can usually tell which dives are the most difficult.  But here in mortality, we cannot always tell who is carrying what burdens: limited intelligence, chemical depression, compulsive behaviors, learning disabilities, dysfunctional or abusive family background, poor health, physical or psychological handicaps---no one chooses these things.  So I must not judge my brothers and sisters.  I am thankful for my blessings but not smug about them, for I never want to hear the Scorer say to me, "Sure, you had the better form, but she had a harder life.  When you factor in the degree of difficulty, she beat you hands down."
So, enduring to the ends doesn't have much to do with suffering in silence, overcoming all life's obstacles, or even achieving the LDS ideal ("pointing our toes" and "keeping our feet together").  It just means not giving up.  It means keeping - to the best of our abilities - the commitments we made to Christ when we entered into the marriage of the gospel.  It means not divorcing the Savior or cheating on him by letting some other live become more important in our lives.  It means not rejecting the blessings of the atonement that he showered upon us when we entered his church and kingdom."

I love that book!  (And the first one called Believing Christ) It's books and stories like these that keep me going.  That remind me that everything may not be right at this very moment, but eventually everything will work itself out and I will still be able to be found worthy of the blessings that come from with the covenants that I made with my Heavenly Father.  It means that even though your comments and looks hurt for the moment, and I may still be dealing with the effects of them for now,...... BUT, that is on you.  I'm not going to lie, it did sting a little, and it may take me a bit to get myself together, but I will be okay and better for having moved on in spite of your comments and looks.  I just need to keep this perspective. 
 A reminder that the Lord knows what we need to grow and learn.  He presents us with those opportunities in the strangest ways at times... ways that we don't always understand or "get" at the moment.  But, our patience and understanding, our faithfulness in our trials, no matter how trivial they may be (and this, to many may seem trivial, but to me, at this time, it mattered,) is a necessary part of our growth. 

 I was reminded that I am where I need to be for a reason right now. 
I just need to focus on being my best at where I am today. I've never been a sit quietly in the back-row kinda gal.  Somehow, I don't think that's going to change... not even when I'm in my "wiser" years.  So, today, I'm appreciating this reminder to enjoy the journey a bit more, to learn as much as I can from others who are a bit further in this journey than myself and to apply their wisdom in my own life as much as I can!  We don't always know what's best for us, but if we roll with what the higher power, our loving Heavenly Father has in mind, what He, who knows us better than we know ourselves, has in mind, we might just find a lot more joy in the journey.  And that, as Kevin says, in the long run, will put us in harmony with God's intentions for us.  Enough said.

Take care my friends and I hope you have a great weekend.  

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