Immovable Rock – 6/24/17

Darin and I enjoyed river rafting with my work friends right before I had the stroke last year. (It was an exciting trip, that I had a hand in planning.) Near Jackson, the water was mainly calm, but when we encountered the rapids, we had quite the wild ride! The big boulders in the water gave us a thrilling trip. 

I was thinking of the small pebbles versus the huge rocks. Those small pebbles have probably traveled a long distance down the river as the water current pushed them along. They were flimsy and movable, with no disernable density to root them down. The small pebbles had no substantial foundation to keep them secure. But those large boulders possessed some major density to stabilize against the rushing current. They had substance and weight to stand up against the roughest of waters. 

(I feel a moral to the story coming…) Are we the pebble or the boulder? Do we go with the flow and run with the crowd and go with the current trends or the popular ideas of the day? Or do we have enough weight, also called internal fortitude, to hold strong withstanding the rush of every fleeting notion? (I never thought I wanted to be heavy!) But heavy means stable, strong, immovable in this case. The way I get heavy is to consume good things. (Be a gluten for good.) Holy scriptures, uplifting books, words of inspirational people, wholesome entertainment, and good friends all contribute to your weight. 

Richard J. Maynes is a BYU graduate in business and international management with minors in accounting and economics. He has worked in top management of many foreign companies. Currently he is a LDS church leader, and in the Presidency of the Seventy. (Which is pretty high up.) What he says is always incredibly wise.

I’ve also recollect the concept put this way, “Wherefore, stand ye in holy places, and be not moved.” (That comes from a book called Doctrine & Covenants, Section 87) Now, a holy place isn’t just in a chapel or temple. It’s anywhere virtuous, lovely, or of good report or praiseworthy. Hang with the heavy rocks, or people with high standards. These habits will guarantee you won’t get caught drowning in the flow and find yourself out of control washed up in today’s torrent. 

“Solid,,,,,solid as a rock.” Be a rock not a pebble!

Invincible – 6/23/17

“It’s a bird, it’s a plane,” it’s Kim! I had a dream last night I could fly. (Like a superhero.) My dreams usually involve something extraordinary, but extraordinary for me would be doing normal stuff lately! Some people have called me a superhero, but seriously, you’d do the same if you were in my shoes. (Two choices, be positively charged or negative.)

My mantra is: Invincible. I have a sign right in front of my bed to remind me I can be powerful everyday. My niece gave me this word after the stroke, and it stuck. (Like glue.) I must remember I can be strong and invincible each day. My ultimate foes are discouragement, idleness, and fear. 

These are the arch enemies of my success. (Pow! Bam! Kazowie! The new movie’s pretty good, but I am cheering for the old school Wonder Woman, my childhood hero.) And just like Wonder Woman, I am driven by one purpose. I understand what my goal is, and I’m gonna beat it down. Right now Dr. Discouragement is lurking on my doorstep. He’s going to be feeling my wrath in a major way. A rude awakening is what he will get when I’m finished. I will “stand” strong against him. (Can you picture me superhero fighting?) 

I know this stroke doesn’t define me. (I don’t call it “my” stroke, and I’m not taking ownership.) It’s just a colossally annoying evil villain I am going to conquer, cause I’m… Invincible! (Da, da, da, daaaaa!)

That Look – 6/22/17

My girl, I will call her SM, produced this look since she was very young! It involves pulling up one side of her lip, and squinting her forehead. (So funny!) That was usually her confused look, but sometimes it was donned for no reason. My kids have created memes from this picture! (The best was- When someone says you owe them money.) This kid metamorphed from a shy preemie who never talked to a crazy daredevil who can seriously talk your ear off! (She’s a hoot!) SM possesses an awesome personality and is my resident peacemaker! She still generates that face, but now it’s being comical. “She’s got the look…”

Housework – 6/21/17

You might say, “Yep, she’s lost it.” But I would love to do all the housework right now. When I go home, it takes all I have not to get on the floor and clean. (I seriously have asked Darin to put me in my former front flower patch, I just want to pull those weeds so bad!) As I recovering perfectionist, I am inherently drawn to want things straight and clean and orderly. I have even been tempted to jump out of bed here where I’m staying, but then common sense kicks in and my brain tells me, “Ahhh you better not, that could end badly.” 

Today in Occupational Therapy, he put me to work. I stood at the sink, and washed some dishes. Memories of work gone by flooded my mind. It felt so good to do something I’ve done (and disliked) for so many years! Then I folded towels and used my right paralyzed hand to hold them still. To be useful is really fulfilling, I’ve been a drain on society for too long. (I’m glad I can still be good for something!) Be thankful you can do your housework. (You never thought you’d hear that!)

Consider the Lilies – 6/20/17

As part of the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches the people who have gathered around. In Matthew 6, He is telling them that God loves and provides for everyone in His own way. Verse 28 says, “And why take ye thought for raiment? Consider the lilies of the field, (it’s a parable) how they grow; they toil not, nor do they spin.” 

There are many theories regarding this verse. But I learned spinning thread was a large task of daily life at this time, and He was referring to wildflowers in general, which are mainly purple in that region. Jesus always spoke in terms the masses would understand. He was endeavoring to teach the people of God’s unconditional love for flowers in the field, birds in the air, sheep in the meadow, and all the way up to us. He blesses those “lilies” with sunlight, nutrients in the soil, and rain from the sky. (They don’t do much, just grow.) But if He cares for such inane objects and gives them beauty (for nothing,) how much more do you think He cares for His spirit children?  

Part of the song goes: “He feeds the lambs in His fold (we are the lambs,) And He will heal those who trust him, And make their hearts as gold.” I venture to say our trials, big or small, are hard for our Heavenly Father to watch. (Just like a parent begrudgingly utilizes tough love.) But we agreed to come to earth, and be tested. (We signed up for this.) Some tests are more difficult than others. That’s how we grow, and become valuable, like gold. That’s how we prove ourselves to Him. Our Heavenly Father blesses each one of us according to our needs. We all get certain blessings and others are added based on our dedication (and trust) in Him and His Son like healing, for example.

There were early inspirational versions based on this scripture, but this song’s lyrics were written in 1980 by a gospel singer through the Spirit and out of appreciation. Roger Hoffman, the songwriter, explains his feelings toward the song, “This is the way of the Master. He tells us plainly that he has given us weakness to bring us to him. When we come unto him, he teaches, counsels, and heals us, replacing evil with good, pouring himself into us, a spiritual transfusion where his light replaces our darkness. The light he has put into us works its way through everything we know and feel and draws us to yet greater light.” (Heavy, but I believe it.) The Mormon Tabernacle choir has embraced this song and sing it often. I think it’s the best version.

I know that the wonderful blessings I am given come from God, our Heavenly Father. The lilies are blessed. The birds are blessed. And we are truly blessed. 

I have looked around myself and understand the tender mercies in my behalf, and I am humbled by the great love He has for me. (I suggest you look and see your blessings, too.)

I will always appreciate and adore this song. (And I will never gaze upon lilies the same way again!)

Heal – 6/19/17

‘Heal” is a documentary involving doctors, professionals, and patients in which they tout the healing abilities of the mind. Attitude (I am sure) plays a huge part in completly healing any sickness in your body. There were so many stories of total healing, because their minds told them it was possible. 

We all have some sort of problem, and we can definitely recover. I believe this, and I would love to be in their sequel! It will be available to watch in it’s entirety in 2017! (Look for it!)

Please watch the trailer:

That’s Enough – 6/17/17

Healing from any malady can be an arduous and difficult process. Healing from a stroke is (well) an eternal process. (At least it seems that way!) But I say the magic key is to work as much as you can every day. Laying in bed never did anyone any good. (At first I had no energy! So bed was where I had to be.) In the beginning after the stroke, the therapy people came in my room, and made me move. (I hated that, but it was for my benefit!)

In the past, I’ve laid in bed hoping to get better, but there comes a time when it’s imperative you rise up and get out of bed. You usually start feeling improved once the juices are flowing. When I had the trach removed, transferred to a new place, got a motorized chair, donned real clothes I began to improve. I started caring again. 

I admire David A. Bednar. He is a wise man, who is inspired to lead us through his words and example. His words of knowledge can improve our lives, if we just listen and act. Watch a few of his talks. You can’t help but be better for it.

Whatever your goal, work towards it a little each day. As long as you are going forward, no matter how insignificant you think those steps might be, you will attain your goal eventually! (Just keep swimming, just keep swimming!) I like the concept that as long as we strive towards that goal, we are doing enough, although it might seem so minuscule. (Turtle steps.)