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Friday, June 12, 2009

Bubbles... From An Angel

The following is a repost from November... enjoy!

Thank you D Wheeler for your post...

"Since becoming a Mom I think at least one person a day performs a RAOK for me. For example, one time I was in Target and my son was being particularly fussy. We were in the check out line, so, we didn't have too much longer inthe store, but it was one of those 'hurry up and wait' life moments where everything takes longer than it should.

The lady behind me took out one of those bubble blowers like they give out at weddings and started blowingbubbles for my son. Then she gave me the bubbles to keep as something that I could use to help entertain him in "emergencies" like this one.

Something simple, small, useful, and easily portable. It was wonderful and made my day much easier. "

Friday, June 5, 2009

Speaking His Language

One story can bring a flood of memories. Memories of a time when we saw ordinary people doing ordinary things -- making an extraordinary difference in someone's life...

And that is how we get today's story... from a memory inspired by one story. Here is the original

I was just over at If You Give a Mom a Moment and this post reminded me of one of my summers in Connecticut. It was my first summer actually. Through a few small miracles I found a job at a small sandwich shop called The Crow's Nest. It was in a marina and our deck looked right out over the Connecticut River -a gorgeous view. The owner had a habit of hiring foreign help for the summers. He hired me a few weeks before his summer help had gotten there, so when this bunch of girls showed up, I was the one in charge of training them.

Kristina was from Russia. Her English wasn't that great, but it was still better than the others who had arrived with her. They were from Slovakia, Bulgaria, Lithuania, and Columbia. That first day was a rough one for her, I could tell. Imagine if you were 18, in a new and far away country where you hardly knew the language, your family literally half the world away, and you had to learn a new job. She was on the verge of tears all morning. She seemed sad, lonely, and I'm pretty sure she was thinking something along the lines of What the heck have I done in coming here?

Then, just before the lunch rush hit, a man came in. While he ordered he thought to ask where we were from. When she said "Russia" he instantly switched from English into Russian. Everything about her brightened as she smiled and talked with this man. Even in the moment I was feeling that Heavenly Father was totally watching out for his daughter -who didn't believe in Him at all. What were the odds that there was A. Someone in the area that was completely fluent in Russian, and B. That he would come to The Crows Nest on the same day that she had arrived, and C. That he would think to ask, Where are you from? It seemed to be exactly what she needed that day, because after that she was cheerful and the tears behind her eyes were gone.

Truly, He loves us.

What is your story?

Friday, May 29, 2009

In the right place...

Sometimes ordinary people, doing ordinary things, serve the Lord's purpose. Here is a wonderful story of how such an experience happened.

Thank you Erin for sharing this story with us...

Something happened yesterday that reminded me that God watches out for
me. I was reading books with Aidan at the library (if you remember, I don't go
to the library very often). After about 45 minutes we walked up to the desk to
check out the books we had chosen. There was a girl standing at the desk asking
about library cards, and she looked really familiar to me. I was pretty sure I
knew her from Iowa, and not Utah. After I was finished checking out my books, we walked out of the library at the same time, and I asked her, "Who are you?"
(Yes, not really couth, but I needed to know who she was.) She said, "Emily." I
said, "I KNOW you from Ames! What are you doing here?" She said, "My husband got an internship nearby and we will be here for the summer."Now let me back up a bit.

If you haven't been reading my blog for long, you will know my husband and
I lived in Ames, Iowa last year. We were only there for a year, but it was a
wonderful year. Everyone at church was so welcoming and kind. We loved the town.
We grew up a little bit there because we had no family to rely on, but our ward became our family. We miss our friends. We miss our ward. We miss a lot about Ames. When we moved here to Cedar, I had a really hard time at first because I missed so much about our wonderful year in Ames.

Emily and her husband Pete were in our ward in Ames. Her husband was Aidan's nursery teacher (and he was awesome). Emily was in the Primary presidency, and I was in the Young Women's presidency, so we didn't get many opportunities to get to know each other. When she found out she was moving to Cedar for the summer, some people in the ward told her to call me, but she said, "Erin and I didn't get to talk much. She woudn't even know who I was if I called her."

Since they are only going to be here for three months, they found a place that has cheap rent on a month to month contract, and is furnished. But it is in kind of a questionable area. They only got here on Wednesday night, and they are already having concerns with where they live. Emily was just hoping she could find a stay at home mom that she could hang out with over the summer, because her husband will be gone a lot (and they have a five month old baby boy).

I love how God put us both at the library at the exact same time, less than 48 hours after Pete & Emily moved here. I love how God knew that Emily would need me this summer, because she has no family in Utah and she would likely be lonely. I love how God knew that bringing Emily into my life right now would be like bringing a little piece of Ames back to me for a moment. And now I have the chance to build a new friendship with someone, which I always love. So thank you, God, for reminding me that you care about me and that you watch out for all of us.

Friday, May 22, 2009

An Angel Within

What inspires you to keep going? What gives you strength? Sometimes the angel of support we need is within our very selves...

Here is a beautiful post, by Fiauna, about the human spirit. Read the original here.

"She moves confidently down the sidewalk, white stick in hand, sunglasses shading her eyes as traffic rolls by at 40 mph. I don't know her story, but every time I see her I am amazed at the indomitable strength of the human spirit. I am assuming she is blind, at least to some degree, but you would never know it by the way she walks--it's the cane and sunglasses that give that much away. I also assume she is walking to pick her child up from the elementary school a half mile away. I see her almost every afternoon, and almost every afternoon I am hungry to know her story. It is obvious she has great strength, she's a fighter.

I recently read the blog of a high school friend. She has ALS. And she is young--oh so young, with three sweet kids to care for. In the matter of one very short year, she has gone from running marathons to acquiring her first wheelchair. And she laughs. She laughs because it is easier that way. She also has great strength. She, too, is a fighter.

My sister cares for my kids with the loving tenderness she reserves for her own. It is I who reminds her NOT to lift my sleeping angel from her car seat, with a warning: Mindy, you recently had a stroke; no heavy lifting for you. She runs. She runs despite a weakened leg and a foot with some remaining palsy. She listens to my sob stories and cries with me, when it should be the other way around. What difficulties have I been dealt in this life that compare with hers? She, too, has strength. She's also a fighter.

I think about these stories, and so many more, and I am in such awe of the indomitable strength of the human spirit. In a way, I know that we are all this strong; I've seen my share of tough times, and I made it out alright. But sometimes I catch myself thinking: I could never handle that. Or I think: That would kill me. What doesn't kill us makes us stronger, it is true; these women are living, breathing proof of it. So, where do you find strength? What drives you to continue fighting? Think about it."

Friday, May 15, 2009

An Angel for Mommy

Every so often, my sweet children will give me such honest expressions of love, I can't help being uplifted. I think it happens in a lot of homes. Here is a post from TINK about the little happy angel in her home...

"I love this little girl of mine. She brings a lot of sunshine into my life. I woke up this morning to find a note she had written me. It was so beautiful it brought me to tears. It makes mothering all the more worth it!:

Dear Mommy,
I (love) you, & I'm talkin about you. You are so awesome, I can't tell you enough. That's a good thing. Gosh. I (love) you so much. Thank you for all the toys and food you've bought me. And the homeade food too. Well I'm thanking you for everything.
Love, The one who loves you so much.
Me, Laura
(I Love You) Mommy!!!
I mean it alot!

What was even special, too, is the other day she had made a list entitled "All About Me" and she wrote things about herself...like her favorite color, favorite food, etc. Then she wrote: "My hero" and put "My mom". Wow! Now that's something HUGE to live up to, but it sure lit up my day! I've certainly got an angel on my hands to bless my life, don't I? I'm truly blessed."

Original post is here.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Angels Among Us

Have you seen a Random Act of Kindness?

Did somebody go out of their way to help you?

Have you seen a touching expression of love?

There are Angels Among Us every day. We just have to open our eyes.

Share your stories! Email them to me or put them on your blog... people want to believe!

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Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Music of Angels

*** I debated if this post was right for this particular blog... But, ultimately, I decided there were angels enough in this story. ***

A blogging friend of mine posted a touching post about music the other day and it got me reminiscing...

My daddy was a band teacher. When he was younger, he and his brothers sang in barbershop groups, played in a swing band, and sang at every family function. He sang me to sleep each night with old “standards” while he stroked my forehead with his thick, course hands. He filled our home with piano arrangements of songs like "Five Foot Two, Eyes of Blue" and "Melancholy Baby." Music was a part of our home. Our life.

Many of my siblings are musical. Each has their own special musical prowess. My baby sister, especially. If anyone ever wanted to hear what an angel sounds like, they would only have to listen to her sing.

Me? Not so much. I think my ADHD attention span kept me out of that line in heaven. I love to sing. I love music. But I have no technical skill. No gift for it. But I FEEL it. My hubby can listen to a piece of music and identify all the different instruments and different rhythms. I just notice if it makes me move or think.

I have learned that everyone enjoys music in different ways... But one thing is sure... And that is that music is so very powerful. It has the ability to influence for good or bad. It can move a person to tears or make them dance with joy. I believe that there is a part of our beings that exist musically.

In the case of my sweet daddy, music helped him fight the debilitating effects of Alzheimer’s disease. My dad suffered with this heart-wrenching disease for about 20 years, the last 6 years being spent in a nursing home.

My mom, having been his sole care giver, suddenly had nothing to do once he was placed in a care center. Wanting to help and show her love to him somehow, and knowing how much my dad loved music, she would walk to his nursing home each day, hauling a keyboard behind her on a luggage carrier. (She herself was burdened down with the pain of osteoporosis)

Each day, she carted that keyboard to my dad's nursing home so he could play. And each day, though he couldn't remember her name, he played songs on the keyboard for my mom. Songs like he used to play on our home piano when I was little.

Eventually, the nursing home saw how important the music was to my dad and found an old piano to keep in the lounge for him to play. And my dad would play. The nurses loved my dad. Despite the fact that he would get ornery during personal hygiene routines, he won their hearts. In fact, one of his nurses, used to be one of his band students. (Talk about coming full circle)

Almost to the very end, even though my daddy had forgotten everything else, he remembered the music. It wasn't until a few months before he passed that he stopped playing... I think because he couldn't physically sit up to the piano.

I love that the ability to play piano and feel music was so engrained into my father that he couldn't forget it. I love that my mother, inspired by love, kept him playing as long as she could. And while I could have never admitted this at the time, she was my dad's angel.

Music is very powerful. And while I recognize that I may not have the gift for performing it... I also recognize the gift for enjoying it. And for that, I am grateful.

"Music is forever; music should grow and mature with you, following right on up until you die." -- Paul Simon