Tuesday, June 9


This morning I was reading Alma Chapter 36.  Alma the Younger is relating his conversion experience to his son Helaman. In verse 12 he says

A harrow, according to various dictionaries, is a farming instrument with spike like teeth used in fields..  You drag it over the ground and it digs and shreds, breaks down clods of dirt and basically levels the land.
To harrow, used as a verb is to  disturb keenly or painfully.
So, to be harrowed, is to be painfully broken, shredded and leveled.
Discouragement is such a phenomenal tool of the adversary.  He knows my weakness lies in bogging myself down, or harrowing myself in my mistakes and failures.  I allow him to shred me with self doubt and crush me with thoughts that I shouldn't even bother trying to work my way out of the mess I've gotten myself into this time.  "You'll probably just do it again anyway." or "Do you think he believes you when you say you are sorry?"

 There's a book by Brad Wilcox called The Continuous Atonement. while the hardcover is nice to have on hand to take notes in, I recommend the audio version for those have a tendency to read a chapter and forget to pick it up again.  This book goes into using the Atonement as a help-meet with the daily struggles of overcoming transgression, instead of the "do everything you can do alone before asking for help" mentality.  (and that's just a small portion of the book!)

 Three days and three nights passed while [he] was harrowed up by the memory of [his] many sins.  Procrastinating those prayers for help. Waiting until you go 1 day without making that one particular misstep.  These are what we do.  We harrow ourselves up.  We (and I mean "I") have a terrible habit of believing I just don't deserve as much love because of my sins.  It's a terrible practice I am working on overcoming.
There are people in my life I will love no matter what they say or do to me.  Why is it so hard for my tiny brain to grasp that a perfect Heavenly Father can and does love me perfectly, without condition?  There is no rolling of the eyes when he hears me call out for him.  He doesn't ignore my calls, or cough sarcastically under his breath when I promise to "never do that again".  
Joseph Smith, at the young age of 14, at a time when the thought of angelic visitation was unheard of- reads a passage of scripture that changes all that we are.  "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God...."
He doesn't get an easy answer...

I've read this so many times in my life.  And I have an understanding of modern revelation!  I've buckled under much less.  I dare say, this boy had no idea what to expect as an answer.  Certainly not the answer he received.  And subsequent visions and visitations throughout the rest of his life.
the Hymn  Joseph Smith's First Prayer:

Without the Restored Priesthood, without all the knowledge we have today, this boy was undaunted under such darkness.  He found his faith from one line of scripture.
If any of you lack wisdom, let him as of God, that giveth to ALL men liberally... and it shall be given unto you."
Back to Alma's experience.  He described his despair:

He didn't say he forgot his sins. He said he wasn't held back by the memory of his sins anymore.  He was able to partake of the joy's of the Atonement and overcome the weight of his guilt and believe that he was worth saving after all.

I know one day I can have this joy for myself.  I know I will have to work at it, change something inside myself so that my weaknesses no longer hold me back from peacefully knowing I am not in this struggle alone.  But that is the point.  I won't have to work at it alone. 
2 Nephi 4:19

Monday, May 18

nothing wavering

Last night as I was driving, I listened to a Young Womens talk given by President Henry B. Eyring back in 2008 called "Walk in the Light". Great talk. I highly recommend it to all, not just the Young Women's group. In it, he talks about how the choices we make either direct us toward the light of Christ, or pull us away from that light.

One point stood out to me:
I testify to you that you have been one of the valiant ones to reach the point where you now are in this journey of life. Just as you are marked as a target by the enemy of righteousness, you have been protected and watched over by your Heavenly Father and the Lord Jesus Christ. They know you. They know all of the forces and individuals around you. They know what is ahead of you. And so They know which of the choices you make, which of the desires you decide to satisfy, and which of the circumstances around you will make the most difference in keeping you walking in the light. I testify that by the Spirit of Christ and by the Holy Ghost, you may walk confidently in whatever difficulties will come. Because you are so valuable, some of your trials may be severe. You need never be discouraged or afraid. The way through difficulties has always been prepared for you, and you will find it if you exercise faith.

You must have faith to pray. You must have faith to ponder the word of God. You must have faith to do those things and go to those places which invite the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost.

I promise you that within the next few days you will feel the illumination of the Spirit of Christ and the Holy Ghost in your everyday life. When you walk in the light, you will feel at that moment some of the warmth and the happiness that will finally be yours when you are welcomed home again with the hundreds and perhaps thousands of others whom you will bring with you, who have walked in the light because you did.

It was the part where he said you must have faith to pray, that really struck me then.

This morning as I was driving to work, I was listening to a 2008 General Conference talk given by Elder David A. Bednar entitled "Ask in Faith". It's also a great talk, but while I was listening, a thought, unrelated to the talk itself came to my mind at the mention of this scripture:

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him as of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." (James 1:5-6)

The thought, is not one I am proud of, but anyway... "You have faith that your prayers CAN be answered, you just don't think they WILL be answered.

So, I guess I need to work on the "Nothing wavering" bit huh? :)

As Elder Bednar continues with his talk, he goes into more depth regarding taking action with our faith, and being humble with God's will. He pulls patience into the equation with reference to Ether 12:6. "wherefore, dispute not because ye see not, for ye receive no witness until after the trial of your faith."

There are so many different angles to approach Faith. It is not just a word that describes a feeling. It is action in itself. Having faith means to work towards something better. Having faith to pray, maybe can mean, looking forward to the chance to talk to a loving Father, who listens happily us as we pour out or gratitude, and aches with us as we share our frustrations and heartache. Having faith is actively remembering each time we bow our heads, that he rejoices as he hears us say those opening words, "Dear Heavenly Father..."



Thursday, September 11

be still

I have a confession to make. I want to get a new tattoo. I've wanted one for awhile. The problem I have though, is I don't know what I want. I've decided that until I am absolutely sure, it's not going to happen. The first two are a testament to that. Haha!

This one has to be words. I love words. Words move and breathe. They can make your heart race, and they can make it slow down just enough to keep you from freaking out completely.

That's really what I am looking for. That one magic phrase that will shield me from breaking. The reminder that "this too shall pass" I've looked and looked, but nothing so far is ringing true.

I think the real problem is there isn't one really. I would have to write a million phrases. Because the magic words change from circumstance to circumstance. One day it would just be the word "breathe". Another it would be "get off your ass".

Sunday was regional conference for me. The last speaker made a great point for me. It has been going through my head all week. If we put God first in our lives, we will no longer need to make plans. It will not matter if we are married or single. It will not matter what career we have or how much money we make. If God is first in our lives, we will be content with what is.

I have this horrible need to make plans. It's a bit obsessive really. "God helps them who helps themselves," right?

So, for now, I need to give up the idea that painting a word on my foot or hand will fortify my heart from breaking, or keep me from making mistakes. :)

Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted...

Sunday, September 22

Stop being my own worst critic?

In the Disney cartoon Ratatouille; particularly the end where the critic writes his review there is a significant lesson to be learned.
“In many ways, the work of a critic is easy. We risk very little, yet enjoy a position over those who offer up their work and their selves to our judgment. We thrive on negative criticism, which is fun to write and to read. But the bitter truth we critics must face, is that in the grand scheme of things, the average piece of junk is probably more meaningful than our criticism designating it so.”
I need to read Moroni Chapter 10. Not just the promise, but the rest of the chapter as well. Perfection only comes through Grace. I cannot be perfect in myself, but only in Christ. There is significant wording toward the end where it talks about how to become sanctified (made holy).
I was thinking about it in terms of a super hero. Batman had Robin. Robin wasn’t anything really to write home about, until he became the partner of Batman right? And if Batman, left the picture, Robin would cease to be as significant because he wouldn’t be able to accomplish the same things as he did when he partnered with Batman. I know I am a nerd, but I’ve been dealing with Comic Con stuff lately and it came to mind. Anyway, unless we allow ourselves to be partnered by the Savior, we cannot accomplish those things that are set before us.
Jesus Christ accepted the plan. He volunteered to pay for my sins. He gave no stipulations to that offering. Why is it, I believe in the Atonement, up until it includes me? I can see clearly, that it applies to the sins of others. Why not me? This is the line of thinking I need to purge from my brain.
Also, read about Mary Magdalene-how did the savior react? What did he say to her?
The point being, even the Pharisees and Sadducees didn’t have the ability to “cast the first stone’” because they recognized the sinners in themselves. And when the Savior asked Mary, “Where are thine accusers?” His comments are significant to me as well.
So, I guess I am too hard on myself. I don’t see how I can be… I know better than to make the mistakes that I make, and yet I make them anyway, right?. Anyway, my bishop counseled me to stop thinking about the things I do wrong, and see more of the things I do right. I don’t need to criticize myself. There is no purpose in doing so, except that it fuels the adversary’s goal in discouraging me on my path of progression.
It all seems a bit overwhelming right now. The bishop told me to only look for answers to the question. “what do I need to know, in order to get through today”
So, I think that will be where I start. That and clean my room.

Saturday, June 8

The Inside of Me

I was driving home from the gym this morning and thought it a good day to pick this up again. It has been a year of trauma for my family, and, though I would love to forget most of it, I would hate to forget what I've learned from it.
I am not saying I will be the best at posting, but I think I will just have to see how it goes.

As so much time has passed since I've last written anything I actually want to say, it's kind of hard to know where to start.

The end of 2011 I was talking to my mom one night and she quietly told me that I needed to go back to church. I had known this for some time, and had made all sorts of excuses as to why it would have to wait. But I knew she was right. So I did. Between her and my lovely neighbor Audrey quietly directing me in the right way, I just started going. It was terrifying! I was going alone. To a family ward, with lots and lots of noisy kids.
I remember going home afterwards and crying in frustration that I hadn't felt anything inside me change. All I could hear were the screaming, playing, arguing, banging, kicking, kids. Not to mention their parents. It was so hard to continue going. I knew, at the time that they deserved to go to church as much as I, but I so desperately wanted to feel something inside me change. I guess I was looking for some miraculous metamorphosis. Suddenly this flawed and sinning girl, would turn white inside, and she would remember all that she had known so confidently before that the life she had chosen to live had snuffed out.

But, I kept going. I will admit to missing a few times. My husband at the time started going, albeit grudgingly. I started recognizing names and faces and the members of the ward became familiar. I noticed the noise less and less.

In May of last year, my Mom was diagnosed with Breast Cancer. We all lived in a bit of a fog for awhile. There was a lot of fear, and a lot of denial. She had surgery in June and they were able to remove the tumor, but had to take all of the lymph nodes on the right side of her arm. It was a hard time for her. It was a hard time for all of us. I would write more of it, but it's not my story to tell really. I can say, that faith can be an ongoing struggle. And the beauty of it is, we are all at different levels of our strength so that we can help each other through the weaker times.

I moved into with my parents in August of last year. My marriage ended in a pretty messy way. It was difficult, but not so difficult at the same time. I think, having the distraction of my Mom's health, in some ways, helped me skate through some of the hard points. But I have to give most of the credit to Heavenly Father.

I remember times, at night, where I would start to panic. My breathing would increase, the tears would fall and I would think I was falling apart. And then it would disappear. I was once again capable of juggling the issues of my divorce, my home, my parents and siblings hardships. I've learned since then, that it was Grace in action. The enabling power of the Atonement to overcome all things.

There is a scripture that kept coming to mind. One of my favorites actually. 2 Nephi 4:19. Not the whole verse, just the end. "...nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted."

The inside of me is still flawed, and there is much that I still have to learn and do in order to find a fraction of that which I so casually left behind when it comes to my testimony. But I know in whom I have trusted. My God that been my support. I know that no matter what life throws at me, I can handle it. There may be tears, and heartache. But through the Grace of God, I am capable of dealing with it all.

Above all, I know that Heavenly Father loves me. That I am important to him. That in itself is miraculous! I am such a lucky girl to have all of this so readily available to me! The knowledge, the scriptures, the Temple. I can accomplish anything if I can focus this stubborn heart of mine on the right things.

I do not know who in this vast audience today may need to hear the message of forgiveness inherent in this parable, but however late you think you are, however many chances you think you have missed, however many mistakes you feel you have made or talents you think you don’t have, or however far from home and family and God you feel you have traveled, I testify that you have not traveled beyond the reach of divine love. It is not possible for you to sink lower than the infinite light of Christ’s Atonement shines.

Whether you are not yet of our faith or were with us once and have not remained, there is nothing in either case that you have done that cannot be undone. There is no problem which you cannot overcome. There is no dream that in the unfolding of time and eternity cannot yet be realized. Even if you feel you are the lost and last laborer of the eleventh hour, the Lord of the vineyard still stands beckoning. “Come boldly [to] the throne of grace,” and fall at the feet of the Holy One of Israel. Come and feast “without money and without price” at the table of the Lord.

Tuesday, December 23

Lynn who?

I just had to post this. Not sure if anyone reads this anymore since...well...I don't write! Hah hah!

I got a phone call tonight from someone very friendly. I answered, he said "Becky! This is Lynn! How are you doing? I haven't talked to you in forever! How are you doing?

What could I do? I wracked my brain, trying to remember someone named Lynn.. He asked me how I was doing, how the kids were doing...how everyone at work was doing.

Oddest conversation ever. He mentioned that he was in Colorado and lovin life. Was getting ready to get married and everything was fantastic. He felt bad, cuz we hadn't talked in about a year.

Lynn...Lynn...who the hell is Lynn? I felt bad about this time, as I had been following the conversation as if I KNEW this person. And honestly, I wasn't sure if I didn't. I am terrible.

So, after the awkward silences between his questions and my one word answers, he made plans to stop by on his vacation to Salt Lake...on or around January 3rd. Told me to tell Dennis (Dennis?!) hello, and signed off.

So, apparently, someone named Lynn from Colorado, is thinking he talked to a Becky he knows...and is going to show up somewhere in Utah to see the family. What a surprise for Becky and Dennis!

Wednesday, October 1

Ode to the Smell of Wood by Pablo Neruda

translated by Jodey Bateman

Late, with the stars
open in the cold
I open the door.
The sea
in the night.

Like a hand
from the dark house
came the intense
of firewood in the pile.

The aroma was visible
if the tree
were alive.
As if it still breathed.

like a garment.

like a broken branch.

I walked
the house
by that balsam-flavored
the points
in the sky sparkled
like magnetic stones
and the smell of the wood

my heart
like some fingers,
like jasmine,
like certain memories.

It wasn't the sharp smell
of the pines,
it wasn't
the break in the skin
of the eucalyptus,
neither was it
the green perfumes
of the grapevine stalk,
something more secret,
because that fragrance
only one
only one
time existed,
and there, of all I have seen in the world
in my own house at night, next to the winter sea,
was waiting for me
the smell
of the deepest rose,
the heart cut from the earth,
something that invaded me like a wave
breaking loose
from time
and it lost itself in me
when I opened the door
of the night.

Friday, January 18

La Dee Dah Girl

About a week ago, a gal I work with handed over a $100 gift certificate to a Day Spa she had won in a drawing awhile ago. She explained that the expiration date was looming and that her schedule just didn’t allow her to take advantage of the money.

What a wonderful gift! I haven’t had a quality haircut in quite some time and hadn’t had my hair colored by someone other than myself in about 5 years. I set up the appointment that same day. The price menu from this spa listed the haircuts at $34 &up and a full color weave at $64. Me, having very short and fine hair (ya gotta love being a natural blonde!) I have never been charged more than the minimum for a haircut, so naturally I assumed that my cut would be the minimum $34, thus totaling out my evening of being pampered at $98.00. Because I had no preference to my stylist, I was assigned to a gal named Shauna.

When I arrived for my appointment, Shauna was more attentive than I have yet experienced. Mind you, I have no qualms with going to Supercuts or GreatClips, but the usual response I get when patronizing these establishments is a cursory glance at a photo, and off they go with scissors in hand. Shauna, on the other hand, figuratively held my hand through the entire evening by making sure I had every choice and option available to me. She definitely made sure we were on the same page before proceeding with the services.

We chatted throughout the procedures, and it was great. I joked about my past haircuts at discount salons and talked about where I lived, where I worked etc. painting her a picture of being a middle income person who was splurging at a high end salon due to my good fortune in getting a gift card. Never, in the 3 and a half hours did I ever indicate that posh spa’s were anywhere near the norm for me.

I have a phenomenal haircut and color. Its easy to style, as she gave me tips and tricks to create different looks. I set up a return appointment, thinking that I could alternate the cut and color so as not to drop $100. Being free, it was okay to pay that much right? But I figured that I could save up…Shauna was that great.

To my surprise, when I went to pay out, as I was pulling out a extremely generous tip, the receptionist totaled my bill out to $145!!!!!!! I was confused and explained what I had ordered and what I had expected to pay. It turns out that I was given a stylist who was a “level 2” stylist with their salon and therefore it increased both services by $10 automatically. Not to mention, that throughout or consultation she had offered to either do a full weave to cover my roots, or just do a root touch up on the hair not being colored.. I told her to do what was easier. Little did I know that it was an extra $27!!! Had I taken the more difficult road, it wouldn’t have been any additional charges.

I was so ticked off! I felt completely taken advantage of. I quickly put my generous tip back in my wallet and requested my return appointment be cancelled. Who in their right mind would pay $145 for something that will grow out or fade away within 6 weeks?! Never in my life, would I or could I be that frivolous. Even my worst haircuts have grown out to be replaced by other cuts…

At any rate, I look great for now, and it feels pretty decadent (if not a bit wasteful) to be walking around with $145 worth of skill in my hair. Yeah, I paid out of pocket $45, which some would say is a phenomenal deal for this level of artistry I carry around on my shoulders (wink, wink) But alas, it will be forgotten in 3 months and no one will be the wiser for my naivete in trying to pretend to be the posh girl, going to a spa…

Friday, April 27

found this quote on another blog...

One day you will ask me which is more important? My life or yours? I will say mine and you will walk away not knowing that you are my life.

Kahlil Gibran

Monday, April 16

The Future's so bright I gotta wear shades...

Things are looking up. I just moved into a new place. It rocks. Well, okay, its my brother's place. But with five adorable little girls and a sister-in-law who is awesome, things are fantastic. So yeah, family, love, future plans....everything is looking great.