“I can’t see that!”

The last few days have been more involved in the world of medicine than I might have chosen.  Among other things, Natalie managed to get another urinary tract infection while taking a 90-day supply of preventative antibiotics.  We’ll see what the next round of procedures will bring, but all indications say it may include anesthesia.

I force her to take regular potty breaks, and she wants me to hang out with her in the bathroom, so I do.  As I stood in the doorway today, looking at her lovely blue eyes and kissable rosy cheeks, I smiled.

“Natalie, you’re really pretty.”

“I can’t see it.”

“You have a pretty face and a cute new shirt and pretty black flower in your hair, and you look pretty.”

She rolled her little eyes around in their sockets trying to see her own face and hair.

“I can’t see that!”

“I know, but I can.  And you’re pretty.”

And I thought how true that is for all of us.  We are lovely— living lives of service, adorned with sacrifice and affection— but our eyes don’t spin around that far, and we don’t see how beautiful we are.

Something inside me tells me that somewhere a Heavenly parent smiles on me in much the same way and reassures, “You can’t see it, but I can.”

When a parent overlooks shortcomings and just sees the goodness in someone, I believe it’s a small dose of how God sees all of us who are trying to love Him and serve Him:

Genesis 6: 8 But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord.

What better thing to see reflected back in someone’s eyes than grace, especially coming from the eyes of someone you love and are trying so hard to please?

Jeremiah 1: 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee.

Prov. 5: 21 For the ways of man are before the eyes of the Lord, and he pondereth all his goings.

Doctrine and Covenants 124:1 (This was spoken to a prophet, but I believe it can be applied to us in our own realms and responsibilities.) “I am well pleased with your offering and acknowledgments, which you have made; for unto this end have I raised you up, that I might show forth my wisdom through the weak things of the earth.”
Come to think of it, it seems like the absolute best place for us to ever see ourselves clearly is in the grace-laden reflection of God’s eyes.  After all, no matter how hard we try to make our own eyes see things, we’re much better off with the help of the One who sees things as they really are, and … things as they really will be”  (Jacob 4:13).  I don’t know about you, but it makes me feel pretty.

Momsensical Mad Libs Mania

Thanks to those of you who played along with Friday’s Mad Libs post.  (Yes, even impatient AmberWaves. :))  Here’s the text you can use to plug in all your answers.

Job posting: Motherhood

WANTED:  One (1) lady to work full time as mother in a (2) household.  Job duties include:

Doing laundry (3) for at least (4) people in a washing machine the size of a (5).

Coming up with something to cook for dinner every night even when you only have (6) in your cupboards.

Cleaning the house until the floor’s so clean you could (7) on it.

Bathing and dressing children.  (Experience working with (8) is very helpful.)

Creating and maintaining a discipline plan to ensure that children (9) (10).

You don’t have to do it all alone.  You could also make a (11) chore chart and sit back and watch while the children (12).

You should probably be paid about $(13) an hour for this work, but you’ll do it for free since it makes your heart say “(14).”

(15) people need not apply.

Oh, and remember that in heaven, you’ll get lots and lots of (16).

Just for fun, I picked some of my favorite answers among all of your entries and put together a communal job posting that brings a smile to my face.  I linked each term to the clever lady who provided it.

Job posting: Motherhood

WANTED:  One ridonkulous lady to work full time as mother in a primal household.  Job duties include:

Doing laundry wistfully for at least 47* people in a washing machine the size of a tractor.

Coming up with something to cook for dinner every night even when you only have garlic, almond extract and brown sugar in your cupboards.

Cleaning the house until the floor’s so clean you could germinate on it.

Bathing and dressing children.  (Experience working with sea lions* is very helpful.)

Creating and maintaining a discipline plan to ensure that the children bemoan, tease and howl cheerfully.

You don’t have to do it all alone.  You could also make a polka-dotted chore chart and sit back and watch while the children laugh.

You should probably be paid about $99 an hour for this work, but you’ll do it for free since it makes your heart say “Whoa, Nelly!

Beautiful people need not apply.

Oh, and remember that in heaven, you’ll get lots and lots of babies.

(*Thanks to Jan and Atzimba for their clever answers even though I didn’t have a blog link for them.)

So, what do you think?  Would it be fun to do it again sometime?

General Conference Book Club Week 19: Elder Scott and President Packer

To ensure we get through all the talks before the next General Conference (which, by the way, is in SEVEN weeks!), I decided to double up some of the messages.  These two seemed like a good pairing to study together, with a common theme of receiving spiritual answers and direction.

Elder Richard G. Scott gave a talk in the Saturday morning session called To Acquire Spiritual Guidance,” where he teaches that guidance will be gained “by careful practice, through the application of correct principles, and by being sensitive to the feelings that come.”

In President Boyd K. Packer’s talk from the Saturday afternoon session, Prayer and Promptings,” he asserts that both these communications are still available to all of God’s children.  He says, “You can know the things you need to know. Pray that you will learn to receive that inspiration and remain worthy to receive it.”

I’m looking forward to studying the two talks together and finding the common threads.  Simply the fact that two talks on a very similar topic were given in Conference on the same day is an alert that it was a principle worth addressing.  What do you think the “action items” for these talks are?  What are these brethren both trying to encourage us to do more/do better?

You can find both the audio and video versions of these talks here.

Motherhood Mad Libs

Let’s play a little game, shall we?

Just respond in the comments below, and come next week, your words will weave a hilarious story.

Ready, set, go.

  1. adjective
  2. adjective
  3. adverb
  4. number
  5. thing
  6. 3 food items/ingredients
  7. verb
  8. animal (plural)
  9. 3 verbs
  10. adverb
  11. adjective
  12. verb
  13. number
  14. Interjection/Exclamation
  15. adjective
  16. plural noun

(Here’s a cheat sheet if you’ve forgotten all your grammar terms.)

Lazy eye

I’m no vision expert, but I believe a lazy eye is when one eye is misaligned, doesn’t focus simultaneously with the other eye, and loses its ability to see details.  It’s an analogy for how I’ve felt ever since I got back from our vacation.  February here is quite bleak, especially compared with Florida.  Part of me knows exactly what I should be doing around the house and in pursuit of my own personal goals.  Another part of me– the lazy eye– just doesn’t feel like it, and would rather do lots of other non-productive, low-effort things.

My back yard has looked a whole lot like this the last week or so:

And all I want to do is sit by this:

And watch or read this:

I KNOW I should do this (except with more clothes on):

and a lot more of this kind of stuff:

But I’ve felt so lazy, and I’ve been allowing myself to become distracted.  It’s easy to be distracted– sometimes by my own cares and moods, sometimes by lesser things.   But it’s a yucky feeling because I can do so much better, and it’s much easier when I’m consistent about doing the things that inspire me.  So, I’m recommitting myself to this (fast forward video to about 5:30 for the most applicable points):

So, yeah, February kind of bites, but I’m powerful.  God has asked me for “an eye single to His glory,” and when I focus on what matters most, especially with BOTH eyes, He makes me fit for whatever life requires of me.  Anybody else out there struggling with focus right now?  Let’s reclaim our wandering eye together.  I declare today the last day of my funk.