Category Archives: Fortifying through prayer

We really aren’t traveling this journey alone, no matter how much it feels like it sometimes. When we slow down enough to ask, and then to listen, we find quiet strength to be able to continue on.

To the teen who is bullied

This is part of a series of letters to those who may feel lost. Sometimes when we are down, discovering something in the mailbox is just the thing.

It reminds us that we aren’t as alone as we think.

Wet paint thrown onto white paper.

Today I write to a young woman who faces shameless cruelty each day. The torture she endures shakes the very foundation of her individual worth – a worth of value beyond imagination but denigrated into dust that disappears in the violent winds surrounding her.

Let’s call her Lily.

Dear Lily,

The very, very, very first thing I want you to read is this:

YOU ARE VITALLY IMPORTANT. YOU ARE WORTH FIGHTING FOR. I AM SO DEEPLY SORRY THAT THIS IS HAPPENING TO YOU. YOU ABSOLUTELY DO NOT DESERVE THIS VINDICTIVE VENOM.

I’m going to repeat that last part: You absolutely do NOT deserve this vile bullying.

Continue reading To the teen who is bullied

Offering humbly-confident prayers

When Alex and Nick were very young, we knew what they were doing all the time.

No, really, ALL the time.

It was incredibly exhausting.

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As they grew and we had witnessed enough wonderful choices and decisions, we stepped back a bit and parts of their day were their own.

Of course, we’d hear the pitter-patter of feet coming down the hall, giggles, and Nick emerging around the corner.

“Mom, Dad…wait just a minute.”

And then he’d disappear around the corner again and we could hear loud whispers of “what was I supposed to ask”, followed by an intense whisper by his sister of exactly what it was that she wanted.

We’d call “come out you two” and we’d wait for them to come, pushing each other a little so as to not be the one in front.

Soon they were on our laps and we’d talk about just what it was on their minds.

Quickly, however, this magical time disappeared and was replaced by more serious petitions about things that truly mattered to them.

Continue reading Offering humbly-confident prayers

We really do end where we begin

This is part 6 in a series on The Family

For part 1, click here

For series synopsis, click here 

Why do we pray?

The other night Ann and I were talking about things that are really important to us – you know, the things for which we choose to give our lives.

The things we pray intently for, about, and over.

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My days have become a kind of a running dialogue with Heaven: gratitude; people we care about; our leaders; increased faith and charity.

There are as many things to pray about as I have breaths.

However, I would be willing to bet that each of us has a very personal, very important list of things we pray for continuously; a list of things that are always in our minds and our hearts.

        (Source: LDS Media Library)

My list has whittled itself down to three: Specific blessings for Ann, specific blessings for Alex, and specific blessings for Nick.

My family.

Continue reading We really do end where we begin

Choosing humility over humiliation

From time to time I am given the opportunity to try and contribute what I can to our Sunday worship services. Sometimes it may be through a few spoken words that hopefully help others along their path as I work my way along my own. Sometimes I try to share a message and feelings through music.music

Yesterday I had just such an opportunity.

A wonderful family friend is preparing to leave for 18 months to serve a mission, giving of herself completely to doing all she can to bring happiness and peace to our earthly brothers and sisters. I felt that perhaps the hymn “God Be with You ‘Till We Meet Again” would be the right message.

After the meeting was over, I immediately left the chapel and with pen and paper began a letter to our son Nick. There had been some pretty powerful lessons taught and learned that I wanted to share with him.

Maybe I’ll share them with you as well. Continue reading Choosing humility over humiliation

How come we search for a heavenly society while excluding heaven?

While working in the yards today I had my IPod going in my ears, as usual. Work is always a little better with songs that make your heart sing a bit, or your toe tap a bit, or put a bit of a spring in your step.

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You know what I mean.

At any rate, I noticed a theme in the songs. By the third one in a row with the same message, I stopped to actually listen and let the words soak in.

Each singer was wistfully searching for a society where we were all kind to each other, where we didn’t harm each other, where everyone was being taken care of by everyone else. But the tone of the music and the melancholy voices made it all seem like a pipe dream – something we all wish for, but know it just can never be.

I stopped right there in the middle of the backyard and asked “Why not?”

Why do we harm each other?

Why aren’t we kind to everyone?

Why don’t we look out for the needs of those around us? Continue reading How come we search for a heavenly society while excluding heaven?