01 August, 2017

A Little Miracle Today


I have a few blissful moments of one napping baby and three content, clean, children who do not need me... and I really should use those moments to mop!

But I have some important thoughts to write out and I wrote in my journal, in sleepy just-woke-up scrawl that I would blog about them. Won't that be interesting if my posterity cross-reference my journal and blog someday?

I had a dream last night. In my dream I was giving a talk in church (in our church, members of the congregation give the "sermons" each Sunday. Children, youth, adults, leaders, those who have never had any kind of leadership role, everyone is asked to speak at some point). 

I was talking about the Primary song "I Often Go Walking" written by Phyllis Luch. Here are the words:

I often go walking in meadows of clover,And I gather armfuls of blossoms of blue.I gather the blossoms the whole meadow over;Dear mother, all flowers remind me of you.O mother, I give you my love with each flowerTo give forth sweet fragrance a whole lifetime through;For if I love blossoms and meadows and walking,I learn how to love them, dear mother, from you.I
 know some people roll their eyes at this song - it seems over-the-top lovey dovey - but I have always loved it. It reminds me of my mom and I really feel the words when I sing it with my kids.“Phyllis Luch says of her inspiration for the words: ‘My mother was mentally ill….Nearly the only time she was at peace was in the fields and meadows….She knew the names of wildflowers, which as a child I thought was amazing.’”  (Our Children’s Songs: Teaching the Gospel with the Children’s Songbook, p98)

Learning the truth behind this song was a big deal for me - it is NOT about a perfect mother, who had a perfect home filled to the brim with creative gospel and secular learning, who took her well-dressed children on nature walks through meadows of clover every Tuesday and taught them all about plant biology and Adam and Eve and the wonders of creation, while feeding them fancy cupcakes with her manicured nails...

This was a deeply hurting woman, who gave her children everything she could.

I believe that there is power beyond measure in giving in our own meagerness.

Think about the Widow's Mite - the wealthy gave so much, but they didn't give all. The widow had so little, and she gave all, and she was the one that the Savior taught us about. 

I am not wealthy in any area of my life - as a mother, I feel very meager much of the time. I could type out every area of scarcity in my character, but it would be embarrassing and I hope to correct many of my faults by the time my children and their children read this.

But the point is - I am scanty. I am meager. There is not much of me. But in my dream, I felt the words, "You are giving everything, and that is enough."

The song, A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief (a beautiful hymn, and I believe it was Joseph Smith's favorite)  was in my mind when I woke up.I love this verse:

2. Once, when my scanty meal was spread,
He entered; not a word he spake,
Just perishing for want of bread.
I gave him all; he blessed it, brake,
And ate, but gave me part again.
Mine was an angel's portion then,
For while I fed with eager haste,
The crust was manna to my taste.

I believe in giving in our want. I believe it does it gives God opportunities to bless us because it makes us humble enough to receive His blessings. I can't tell you how many financial miracles we have experienced after paying a generous Fast Offering (in our church we fast once a month and donate the money we would have spent on how ever many meals we fast for, to the hungry). Or had ends meet after paying our tithing, when they really shouldn't have.

But financial blessings are the tip of the iceberg.

When we give in our want, we become more. There is more substance to who we are - our hearts and souls seem to grow. We become more of who we were designed to be - the scales and weights of mortality become lighter or just fall off - jealousy, greed, stress, anger, resentment, worry, anxiety... they lessen and hope and light and peace expand. 

I believe that even though we are mortals who are very imperfect, we can and will, if we seek it, feel joy and peace always - even in the midst of deep, soul-wracking trials. I actually know this is true because I've experienced it at times in my life.

I believe that joy and peace comes from knowing that Christ is real, that he is our brother, and that he redeemed each of us, personally, at Gethsemane. 

Our understanding and testimony of him grows as we give - not of our abundance (though that is importance) but in our disparity --- because we become like him.

I know that I am lacking - less - meager in so many ways, but the more I love, the more my capacity to love grows. I continue to apply and give that love, and then there is even more of it to share. That is a miracle to me.

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