Awareness is an action verb

(All images in this post are from the LDS Media Library)

“The restoration of the gospel was not a restoration of rules; it was a restoration of reasons. The Ten Commandments actually made it through the apostasy. It was the reasons to keep the commandments that were lost.”                         Brad Wilcox, Department of Teacher Education at BYU

This statement is one of those that can stop you in your tracks when you first read it, make you go back and read it again, and then stay in your mind long after the paper has been put down.

At least that’s what happened to me.

In so much of what we do each day, I think what matters the most is the reason we actually did, or didn’t, do something.

Nick calls it “the why” of what we do, and feels it is at the heart of our gospel living.

I agree.

Continue reading Awareness is an action verb

Okay, so what’s next?

Recently I watched an interchange between a political candidate and an advocacy rights group. The media labeled it as a “tense exchange” and the day following aired interviews with members of the group declaring their disappointment in the whole experience.

Admittedly I am not a supporter of that candidate, nor do I pretend to have any understanding of the plight of the social injustices the group is fighting.

But I really thought they both wanted the same thing, and began the conversation on the same side of the issue.


So why did they end up turning in opposite directions?

I think it comes down to being ready to ask the question: okay, so what’s next?

But it’s pretty much impossible to be ready to move on to the solution if we can’t agree on where we are starting.

In my opinion, the candidate made the mistake of simply telling the others what they needed to do next. As well, in my opinion, the group made the mistake of not comprehending the valid if not difficult reality of the advice, which was actually good advice. Instead, they chose to tell the candidate that she didn’t understand.

See the common thread there?


Continue reading Okay, so what’s next?

Am I judging everyone judging me?

We’ve all experienced it at one time or another; we walk into a room and feel every pair of eyes instantly fixed in our direction.

Our first thought is something like: “do I have snot on my face?”

outcast-2-1429025-1280x960After a quick, surreptitious brush across our lip with the back of our hand, we realize that they may just be staring at something that can’t be seen.

But manage to see anyway.

Years ago when I wasn’t the massive mountain of maturity and wisdom that is the current magic of being me, I had this feeling quite a bit.

Continue reading Am I judging everyone judging me?

Exercise: it’s a great way to cry

A few weeks ago a great friend posted the above-titled thought on her Facebook page. It stopped me in my tracks and I just stared at it.

For a long time.

I read some of the comments from others and I think perhaps the consensus was different from that which I had interpreted.


Isn’t that the magic of the written word? We are all able to pull from it what we need most at that particular moment in our lives.

This was helpful to me, and I’m grateful.

Obviously I’ve talked about our kids (A LOT) and you know that Nick is back in Hyde Park and bouncing off our familiar walls while singing at the top of his lungs. It’s great to spend this brief moment of eternity with him.

He joined Ann and me on our latest trek to the psychiatrist’s office in Salt Lake last week.

One of the first things he noticed was the amusement on our doctor’s face as I blew into the office as, well, only I can.

Continue reading Exercise: it’s a great way to cry

Leaving the line open: isn’t prayer about feeling?

Lately my mind has fallen into that misty mix of numbness and detachment. It’s an interesting place to be.

For many years I was most definitely a “deeply feeling person.”


To excess.

It wasn’t uncommon for me to look at Ann and not understand how she could so calmly and quietly react to news received, whether it be good or bad.

We’ve laughed about it over the years. If I ask my family how I did on something I had just finished, and they replied, “Oh it was good”, then I just knew it had been bad.

Kind of nutty isn’t it, to only hear that something was bad when being told it was good?

Well, that’s me: the nutty professor.

But because of the medication for the bipolar, OCD, and psychoses (at least I hope it’s the mental illness medication; otherwise …), I don’t feel things as bright or as dark as before.

Continue reading Leaving the line open: isn’t prayer about feeling?