Friday, April 13, 2012

Unaware of the Danger

A few months ago, I spent some time with a friend in the LDS bookstore in Dallas. Upon leaving, a piece of artwork caught my eye. I was taken back. I stopped my steps and stared. I slowly walked over to the picture seeing a quote that made the picture even more meaningful.

"Sometimes God calms the storm,
and sometimes he lets the storm rage
and calms his child."
-Author Unknown

The artwork I saw was a painting. The picture I have shown above is a photograph. The description of the photograph reads as follows:

"The lighthouse keeper, Théodore Malgorne, stands at the door looking out at the helicopter, unaware of the scale of the wave crashing into the building. It was thought for some time that he was killed by the wave moments after the photographs were taken, however Neil Oliver and Jean Guichard travel to meet Malgorne and give him a signed copy of the photograph.

La Jument lighthouse is situated in an area of coastline always considered treacherous by sailors and there have been many shipwrecks over the years. In June 1896, the steam ship Drummond Castle was wrecked killing nearly 250 people. La Jument was built to provide a safer crossing for ships and it was constructed between 1904 and 1911."

The lighthouse keeper survived. He was protected. Even though his protection seemed old, and the ocean was bearing down in all of its fury, he remained standing as a keeper of the light. It's amazing that he did not know of the danger that surrounded him because he was standing in safety.

Our choices every day direct our destiny. Where do we choose to stand?

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Thoughts in Life as of Now

(In no particular order.)

Food storage.
Whole Foods.
ABC's Once Upon A Time.
Relief Society.
Sense and Sensibility.
Gluten free pizza.
Disney songs.
Blue butterfly.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

"And then they went on."

This evening I had the opportunity to watch a delightful puppet show put on by my sweet nephew Brady. The entire show was completely spur-of-the-moment. I was surprised to see what a wonderful story teller this little guy is, especially when he gets going. It started off with the sweetest of beginnings... "Once there was a little boy riding a cow..." (Which was Spiderman riding on a spotted cow with wheels.) He then began to tell of the adventures of this young boy. Every minute or so he would introduce a new character by having the boy ask if they wanted to join in on their adventure. Soon, many a creature had joined this band of friends. What I loved most about his puppet show was when he would say, "And then they went on." for he said this quite a few times. When they were done at the river... "And then they went on." The cave... "And then they went on." And so forth up the mountain, through the jungle and back up another mountain, they continued onward, gathering friends of all shapes and sizes as they went. There were no questions asked of the new friends but one. "Would you like to come with us on our adventure?"

I have thought about his story all evening. Noone wants to go along on their journey alone. I hope that I can be more like Brady. His sweet spirit was made ever so clear in his play tonight. And a simple message of hope was given. For trials will come. Swift rivers. Dark caves. Tall mountains. Dangerous jungles. And even when we have passed through these we may be asked, again, to climb the heights of the mountains. "And then they went on." His words ring clear. We must go on. Endurance brings light and love to those around us. And those around us will return that light and love. I am so grateful for children. They teach us without trying and love us without question.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

"I am the gardener here."

I would like to share a story, that came to my mind today, from a talk given by D. Todd Christofferson entitled "As Many As I Love, I Rebuke and Chasten":

God uses another form of chastening or correction to guide us to a future we do not or cannot now envision but which He knows is the better way for us. President Hugh B. Brown, formerly a member of the Twelve and a counselor in the First Presidency, provided a personal experience. He told of purchasing a rundown farm in Canada many years ago. As he went about cleaning up and repairing his property, he came across a currant bush that had grown over six feet (1.8 m) high and was yielding no berries, so he pruned it back drastically, leaving only small stumps. Then he saw a drop like a tear on the top of each of these little stumps, as if the currant bush were crying, and thought he heard it say:

“How could you do this to me? I was making such wonderful growth. … And now you have cut me down. Every plant in the garden will look down on me. … How could you do this to me? I thought you were the gardener here.”

President Brown replied, “Look, little currant bush, I am the gardener here, and I know what I want you to be. I didn’t intend you to be a fruit tree or a shade tree. I want you to be a currant bush, and someday, little currant bush, when you are laden with fruit, you are going to say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for loving me enough to cut me down.’”

Years later, President Brown was a field officer in the Canadian Army serving in England. When a superior officer became a battle casualty, President Brown was in line to be promoted to general, and he was summoned to London. But even though he was fully qualified for the promotion, it was denied him because he was a Mormon. The commanding general said in essence, “You deserve the appointment, but I cannot give it to you.” What President Brown had spent 10 years hoping, praying, and preparing for slipped through his fingers in that moment because of blatant discrimination. Continuing his story, President Brown remembered:

“I got on the train and started back … with a broken heart, with bitterness in my soul. … When I got to my tent, … I threw my cap on the cot. I clenched my fists, and I shook them at heaven. I said, ‘How could you do this to me, God? I have done everything I could do to measure up. There is nothing that I could have done—that I should have done—that I haven’t done. How could you do this to me?’ I was as bitter as gall.

“And then I heard a voice, and I recognized the tone of this voice. It was my own voice, and the voice said, ‘I am the gardener here. I know what I want you to do.’ The bitterness went out of my soul, and I fell on my knees by the cot to ask forgiveness for my ungratefulness. …

“… And now, almost 50 years later, I look up to [God] and say, ‘Thank you, Mr. Gardener, for cutting me down, for loving me enough to hurt me.’”5

God knew what Hugh B. Brown was to become and what was needed for that to happen, and He redirected his course to prepare him for the holy apostleship.

Sometimes we cannot see the reasoning behind a situation, but there is a plan. Our lives have meaning, purpose, and direction. Sometimes it is just hard to see, but remember the little currant bush and press forward. Hope and courage walk hand in hand. -Erin

Thursday, October 6, 2011


In a world full of technology, that is progressing daily, I feel as if there are simple pleasures that are being left behind. Out of the many things that I could choose to list I choose just one.

One thing.


The old dusty box that you discovered your great grandparents love letters from the war. The sweet note letting you know you are loved. The hand written evidence of a life once lived. What will our children and their children be able to read of our lives?

Text messages? Deleted after a couple days. Journals? Blogs (Exibit A). Emails? System crashed. Lost.

Challenge? Yes. Write someone a letter. Small. Big. One word. Leave that note. It will mean so much more than a text or an email. It will be something they can hold on to.


Friday, September 23, 2011


This morning brought a fun adventure. Now, I have been to yard sales. Plenty! I had never experienced an estate sale however until today. And let me tell you, A-MA-ZING! While I wasnted just about everything that was in that beautiful home I found 2 things that caught my eye as well as my imagination. Here were my treasures for today:
I have always had a strange fascination with bottles. There has long been a secret wish within me to be walking down the beach, enjoying the breeze and the sand beneath my feet, and coming across a bottle enclosed with a message from another time. Perhaps, one day, I will set adrift my own message out into the seas. A love letter, a plea to the world, or a prayer. It is simply such a beautiful idea to me and when I saw these bottles I couldn't help but let my imagination get the better of my pocket book. Five dollars for a little piece of dreaming in my window... truly, it is priceless.

This estate sale that we went to was incredible. There were old black and white photographs of what looked to be family, old linens that looked like they had been used in a different age, beautiful white gloves, tea sets, walking sticks, vintage furniture, old jewelry, kitchen ware from today and past yesterdays... it was full of history and memories so thick that I couldn't help but be overwhelmed. I assume that the tenant had passed away and had left such beautiful memories behind. Their is a journey in each peice of memory. While the meaning is unknown to the new owner, that meaning is never lost. It remains with it's unknown presence. This makes me wonder about the bottles that I have acquired. While they are simply two glass bottles, they are full of memory, and have a history all their own. How beautiful.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Who knew?

Well, it is official... I am allergic to wheat. How could I not see the signs before? Funny thing about allergies... THEY SNEAK UP ON YUH! (When I wasn't looking of course.) I have been doing some food testing by slowly adding things back into my diet. Doing tests on ones self probably isn't the safest of ideas but after test #2 I found that I should probably just accept the allergy instead of experimenting to see if my throat would get super tight again. Yup, swolen throat, itchiness... uggh. But I heart bread so much! Oh, and pasta! And cereals. It is when you realize that you really can't have something that it seems to be EVERYWHERE you look.

All I can say is that I have so much more compassion for those with allergies than I did before.

My Dearest Wheat,
Our time together must be cut short. How long we have been friends. I will always remember the long summers we had. Peanut butter and jelly. Deli ham with mustard. Egg salad and mayo. And oh, the winters! Hot chocolate with toast! Grilled cheese with tomato soup. Our memories are blissful. Of course we had our messy spaghetti times, but those happen. I will never forget the good times. You will be forever missed as I now must substitute rice flour for wheat flour and granola for sweeter things. Change has to come. I tried to make it work. Believe me I did, but alas, we must move forward. It will be better for both of us. So long my dearest of friends. Remember me well.