A Light Dust of Snow| Poetry

cherry blossom

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A light dust of snow, far from last late frost.

Soft bright rays beam down, fairylight not lost.

Shine upon my maid, Youth is yet her friend.

Sleeps she ‘neath branches, sweet dreams yet to send.

To laugh and still dream, through hardship and strife,

’tis but her choice course, through trials of life.

Just as the blossom comes after the rain,

so does the smile just after the pain.

Such is the pathway through darkness to bright,

bring oh thou sunshine, bring joy and bring light!

Bring spirit and spark, bring lilac’s clean scent.

Revitalize Hope, her dear chorus rent;

Troll bells of mercy, forgiveness its due.

Do always remember, to ever press through.

 Fear not, my maiden, there is yet a plan.

For now just delight, and day dream ’til then.

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Purim

This last Thursday was Purim.

Although I have never traditionally celebrated the holiday, as I am not Jewish, it is amazing to think we still know the date of when Esther freed her people.

I hope this video helps you better understand what happened on that day so many years ago.

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“To confirm these days of Purim in their times appointed, according as Mordecai the Jew and Esther the queen had enjoined them, and as they had decreed for themselves ad for their seed, the matters of the fastings and their cry.”

Esther 9:31 KJV

Laura Ingalls Wilder

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Laura Ingalls Wilder(1867-1957)

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Laura Ingalls Wilder is the renowned author of the “Little House” books. Her books are a first hand account of life as a pioneer child. She has an incredible history and was an incredible author. Today would be Laura’s 148th birthday. I thought a post would be fitting for the celebration of one of my favorite authors.

I remember when I got my hardbound copies of her marvelous stories. My mama had surprised me with a big basket of books, near the foot of my bed, for me to find when I woke up. My favorite of the series will always be “The Little House in the Big Woods”. It captivated me as a child, and captivates me even still. I also gained a passion for reading, writing, and imagination. I remember my parents taking me to the Banks of Plum Creek. I still have the powder blue bonnet that I got there, when I was much smaller. It was reading her stories and visiting one of the many museums, which preserves the history of her travels, that instilled in me a passion for learning about the past.

If you haven’t read her any of her books, I strongly suggest reading them. They are easy reads for adults, but the transport you into a different time. You learn so much about what life was truly like during her era.

Follow my board all about Laura Ingalls Wilder on Pinterest!

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Care for Yourself First

In our world, there are many evils. There are many in need, and there are many who believe following Christ means always putting those in need before themselves. These people end up giving so much of themselves that they forget to take care of the most important thing that allows them to do their service: their own body.

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My next challenge for those who read this blog is to work on your personal life. Work on improving your health, building your strength, reading the Word, and spending personal time with the Lord. Once you are on track with your own self, everything else will start to fall into place.

I will help you along the way by starting a new series of ideas that I have personally found effective in improving my physical as well as my spiritual health. A great place to start is to follow my
Natural Pampering Board on Pinterest. I found some great recipes and ideas to help you feel better without using anti-depressants. You’d be surprised what citrus, strawberries, and sunshine does for your mood!
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Many people have heard the cliche, “If you don’t have your health, you have nothing”. And if you haven’t, heard this, you can most likely understand the intent. When one is in poor health, there is little they can do that does not take its toll on their stamina, and eventually their spirit. Think about when you have the flu. Are you physically able to bring help to those in need? Maybe you can write a sweet letter, or call someone in need of support. But if you have a high fever, or a cough, or sneezing fits, it is unlikely that you are wanting to get a family sick by bringing them a meal or working in their yard.
The Lord asks us to be servant minded. He wants us to be ever sharing our blessings and talents with others. But we can not give all of what the Lord asks of us if we are not caring for ourselves.
I have learned this the hard way. When I was in high school, I was so focused on what others were doing or what they needed that I forgot to take care of myself. I wasn’t getting enough sleep, I wasn’t necessarily eating badly but it wasn’t great, and I was trying to balance too much. I was over burdened and under prepared. Now, I was able to touch many lives, and I wouldn’t trade that for anything. But the one regret I have is that I wasn’t good about maintaining my own health and I reaped what I had sewn. I had headaches and I tended towards being more susceptible to illness.
Currently, my desire to change my bad habits has truly started to make a difference. I have a while to go before I’m back to where I am as strong as I was, but they are improving. I have found that when I am feeling better, not only am I better prepared to live my life for the Lord, but I am better able to follow the Spirit and truly notice and enjoy the blessings the Lord gives me.
I hope that through this, I can help at least one person start to feel better and feel closer to the Lord.
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“And all saints who remember to keep and do these sayings, walking in obedience to the commandments, shall receive health in their navel and marrow in their bones;”
Doctrine and Covenants 89:18

A Blessed Sunday

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As I was taking a walk this morning before Church, I saw a few members the deer family that live on and around our property. They were enjoying the spoils of one of our recovering horse paddocks. The image is fuzzy, but I caught a picture of the four of them.

Seeing this reminded me of how simple life truly can be. We clutter it up with so much worry, so much heart ache. Always rushing around trying to do everything on the to-do list. I think we forget that Heavenly Father not only sent us here to learn from our actions and our relationships with others, but also to enjoy the wonderful world that He created.

Even in the midst of our struggles and our trials, the Lord is always watching us and always there to help us on our way. His atoning sacrifice allows for us to give Him our pains and He will wash us clean. We live in a world of turmoil and chaos, but if we have faith in our Savior, there will be no need unmet. He will always provide a way.

I hope that no matter what trial you are going through, you turn to God and give it to Him. He will give you rest and heal your heart. It is through Him that all Light comes. It is through Him that we have hope. Give your worries to God, and wake up renewed.

 Stock-Image-Separator-GraphicsFairy21“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk and not faint.”

Isaiah 40: 31 (KJV)

Where Love Is, God Is

by Leo Tolstoy
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IN A CERTAIN TOWN there lived a cobbler, Martin Avdéiteh by name. He had a tiny room in a basement, the one window of which looked out on to the street. Through it one could only see the feet of those who passed by, but Martin recognized the people by their boots. He had lived long in the place and had many acquaintances. There was hardly a pair of boots in the neighbourhood that had not been once or twice through his hands, so he often saw his own handiwork through the window. Some he had re-soled, some patched, some stitched up, and to some he had even put fresh uppers. He had plenty to do, for he worked well, used good material, did not charge too much, and could be relied on. If he could do a job by the day required, he undertook it; if not, he told the truth and gave no false promises; so he was well known and never short of work.
Martin had always been a good man; but in his old age he began to think more about his soul and to draw nearer to God. While he still worked for a master, before he set up on his own account, his wife had died, leaving him with a three-year old son. None of his elder children had lived, they had all died in infancy. At first Martin thought of sending his little son to his sister’s in the country, but then he felt sorry to part with the boy, thinking: ‘It would be hard for my little Kapitón to have to grow up in a strange family; I will keep him with me.’
Martin left his master and went into lodgings with his little son. But he had no luck with his children. No sooner had the boy reached an age when he could help his father and be a support as well as a joy to him, than he fell ill and, after being laid up for a week with a burning fever, died. Martin buried his son, and gave way to despair so great and overwhelming that he murmured against God. In his sorrow he prayed again and again that he too might die, reproaching God for having taken the son he loved, his only son while he, old as he was, remained alive. After that Martin left off going to church.
One day an old man from Martin’s native village who had been a pilgrim for the last eight years, called in on his way from Tróitsa Monastery. Martin opened his heart to him, and told him of his sorrow.
‘I no longer even wish to live, holy man,’ he said. ‘All I ask of God is that I soon may die. I am now quite without hope in the world.’
The old man replied: ‘You have no right to say such things, Martin. We cannot judge God’s ways. Not our reasoning, but God’s will, decides. If God willed that your son should die and you should live, it must be best so. As to your despair — that comes because you wish to live for your own happiness.’
‘What else should one live for?’ asked Martin.
‘For God, Martin,’ said the old man. ‘He gives you life, and you must live for Him. When you have learnt to live for Him, you will grieve no more, and all will seem easy to you.’
Martin was silent awhile, and then asked: ‘But how is one to live for God?’
The old man answered: ‘How one may live for God has been shown us by Christ. Can you read? Then buy the Gospels, and read them: there you will see how God would have you live. You have it all there.’
These words sank deep into Martin’s heart, and that same day he went and bought himself a Testament in large print, and began to read.
At first he meant only to read on holidays, but having once begun he found it made his heart so light that he read every day. Sometimes he was so absorbed in his reading that the oil in his lamp burnt out before he could tear himself away from the book. He continued to read every night, and the more he read the more clearly he understood what God required of him, and how he might live for God. And his heart grew lighter and lighter. Before, when he went to bed he used to lie with a heavy heart, moaning as he thought of his little Kapitón; but now he only repeated again and again: ‘Glory to Thee, glory to Thee, O Lord! Thy will be done!’
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From that time Martin’s whole life changed. Formerly, on holidays he used to go and have tea at the public house, and did not even refuse a glass or two of vódka. Sometimes, after having had a drop with a friend, he left the public house not drunk, but rather merry, and would say foolish things: shout at a man, or abuse him. Now, all that sort of thing passed away from him. His life became peaceful and joyful. He sat down to his work in the morning, and when he had finished his day’s work he took the lamp down from the wall, stood it on the table, fetched his book from the shelf, opened it, and sat down to read. The more he read the better he understood, and the clearer and happier he felt in his mind.
It happened once that Martin sat up late, absorbed in his book. He was reading Luke’s Gospel; and in the sixth chapter he came upon the verses:
‘To him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and from him that taketh away thy cloke withhold not thy coat also. Give to every man that asketh thee; and of him that taketh away thy goods ask them not again. And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.’
He also read the verses where our Lord says:
‘And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say? Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them, I will shew you to whom he is like: He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock. But he that heareth and doeth not, is like a man that without a foundation built an house upon the earth, against which the stream did beat vehemently, and immediately it fell; and the ruin of that house was great.’
When Martin read these words his soul was glad within him. He took off his spectacles and laid them on the book, and leaning his elbows on the table pondered over what he had read. He tried his own life by the standard of those words, asking himself:
‘Is my house built on the rock, or on sand? If it stands on the rock, it is well. It seems easy enough while one sits here alone, and one thinks one has done all that God commands; but as soon as I cease to be on my guard, I sin again. Still I will persevere. It brings such joy. Help me, O Lord!’
He thought all this, and was about to go to bed, but was loth to leave his book. So he went on reading the seventh chapter — about the centurion, the widow’s son, and the answer to John’s disciples — and he came to the part where a rich Pharisee invited the Lord to his house; and he read how the woman who was a sinner, anointed his feet and washed them with her tears, and how he justified her. Coming to the forty-fourth verse, he read:
‘And turning to the woman, he said unto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house thou gavest me no water for my feet: but she hath wetted my feet with her tears, and wiped them with her hair. Thou gavest me no kiss; but she, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kiss my feet. My head with oil thou didst not anoint: but she hath anointed my feet with ointment.’
He read these verses and thought: ‘He gave no water for his feet, gave no kiss, his head with oil he did not anoint. . . .’ And Martin took off his spectacles once more, laid them on his book, and pondered.
‘He must have been like me, that Pharisee. He too thought only of himself — how to get a cup of tea, how to keep warm and comfortable; never a thought of his guest. He took care of himself, but for his guest he cared nothing at all. Yet who was the guest? The Lord himself! If he came to me, should I behave like that?’
Then Martin laid his head upon both his arms and, before he was aware of it, he fell asleep.
‘Martin!’ he suddenly heard a voice, as if some one had breathed the word above his ear.
He started from his sleep. ‘Who’s there?’ he asked.
He turned round and looked at the door; no one was there. He called again. Then he heard quite distinctly: ‘Martin, Martin! Look out into the street to-morrow, for I shall come.’
Martin roused himself, rose from his chair and rubbed his eyes, but did not know whether he had heard these words in a dream or awake. He put out the lamp and lay down to sleep.
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Next morning he rose before daylight, and after saying his prayers he lit the fire and prepared his cabbage soup and buckwheat porridge. Then he lit the samovár, put on his apron, and sat down by the window to his work. As he sat working Martin thought over what had happened the night before. At times it seemed to him like a dream, and at times he thought that he had really heard the voice. ‘Such things have happened before now,’ thought he.
So he sat by the window, looking out into the street more than he worked, and whenever any one passed in unfamiliar boots he would stoop and look up, so as to see not the feet only but the face of the passer-by as well. A house-porter passed in new felt boots; then a water-carrier. Presently an old soldier of Nicholas’ reign came near the window spade in hand. Martin knew him by his boots, which were shabby old felt ones, goloshed with leather. The old man was called Stepániteh: a neighbouring tradesman kept him in his house for charity, and his duty was to help the house-porter. He began to clear away the snow before Martin’s window. Martin glanced at him and then went on with his work.
‘I must be growing crazy with age,’ said Martin, laughing at his fancy. ‘Stepánitch comes to clear away the snow, and I must needs imagine it’s Christ coming to visit me. Old dotard that I am!’
Yet after he had made a dozen stitches he felt drawn to look out of the window again. He saw that Stepánitch had leaned his spade against the wall, and was either resting himself or trying to get warm. The man was old and broken down, and had evidently not enough strength even to clear away the snow.
‘What if I called him in and gave him some tea?’ thought Martin. ‘The samovár is just on the boil.’
He stuck his awl in its place, and rose; and putting the samovár on the table, made tea. Then he tapped the window with his fingers. Stepánitch turned and came to the window. Martin beckoned to him to come in, and went himself to open the door.
‘Come in,’ he said, ‘and warm yourself a bit. I’m sure you must be cold.’
‘May God bless you!’ Stepánitch answered. ‘My bones do ache to be sure.’ He came in, first shaking off the snow, and lest he should leave marks on the floor he began wiping his feet; but as he did so he tottered and nearly fell.
‘Don’t trouble to wipe your feet,’ said Martin ‘I’ll wipe up the floor — it’s all in the day’s work. Come, friend, sit down and have some tea.’
Filling two tumblers, he passed one to his visitor, and pouring his own out into the saucer, began to blow on it.
Stepániteh emptied his glass, and, turning it upside down, put the remains of his piece of sugar on the top. He began to express his thanks, but it was plain that he would be glad of some more.
‘Have another glass,’ said Martin, refilling the visitor’s tumbler and his own. But while he drank his tea Martin kept looking out into the street.
‘Are you expecting any one?’ asked the visitor.
‘Am I expecting any one? Well, now, I’m ashamed to tell you. It isn’t that I really expect any one; but I heard something last night which I can’t get out of my mind Whether it was a vision, or only a fancy, I can’t tell. You see, friend, last night I was reading the Gospel, about Christ the Lord, how he suffered, and how he walked on earth. You have heard tell of it, I dare say.’
‘I have heard tell of it,’ answered Stepánitch; ‘but I’m an ignorant man and not able to read.’
‘Well, you see, I was reading of how he walked on earth. I came to that part, you know, where he went to a Pharisee who did not receive him well. Well, friend, as I read about it, I thought now that man did not receive Christ the Lord with proper honour. Suppose such a thing could happen to such a man as myself, I thought, what would I not do to receive him! But that man gave him no reception at all. Well, friend, as I was thinking of this, I began to doze, and as I dozed I heard some one call me by name. I got up, and thought I heard some one whispering, “Expect me; I will come to-morrow.” This happened twice over. And to tell you the truth, it sank so into my mind that, though I am ashamed of it myself, I keep on expecting him, the dear Lord!’
Stepánitch shook his head in silence, finished his tumbler and laid it on its side; but Martin stood it up again and refilled it for him.
‘Here drink another glass, bless you! And I was thinking too, how he walked on earth and despised no one, but went mostly among common folk. He went with plain people, and chose his disciples from among the likes of us, from workmen like us, sinners that we are. “He who raises himself,” he said, “shall be humbled and he who humbles himself shall be raised.” “You call me Lord,” he said, “and I will wash your feet.” “He who would be first,” he said, “let him be the servant of all; because,” he said, “blessed are the poor, the humble, the meek, and the merciful.”‘
Stepánitch forgot his tea. He was an old man easily moved to tears, and as he sat and listened the tears ran down his cheeks.
‘Come, drink some more,’ said Martin. But Stepánitch crossed himself, thanked him, moved away his tumbler, and rose.
‘Thank you, Martin Avdéitch,’ he said, ‘you have given me food and comfort both for soul and body.’
‘You’re very welcome. Come again another time. I am glad to have a guest,’ said Martin.
Stepánitch went away; and Martin poured out the last of the tea and drank it up. Then he put away the tea things and sat down to his work, stitching the back seam of a boot. And as he stitched he kept looking out of the window, waiting for Christ, and thinking about him and his doings. And his head was full of Christ’s sayings.
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Two soldiers went by: one in Government boots the other in boots of his own; then the master of a neighbouring house, in shining goloshes; then a baker carrying a basket. All these passed on. Then a woman came up in worsted stockings and peasant-made shoes. She passed the window, but stopped by the wall. Martin glanced up at her through the window, and saw that she was a stranger, poorly dressed, and with a baby in her arms. She stopped by the wall with her back to the wind, trying to wrap the baby up though she had hardly anything to wrap it in. The woman had only summer clothes on, and even they were shabby and worn. Through the window Martin heard the baby crying, and the woman trying to soothe it, but unable to do so. Martin rose and going out of the door and up the steps he called to her.
‘My dear, I say, my dear!’ The woman heard, and turned round.
‘Why do you stand out there with the baby in the cold? Come inside. You can wrap him up better in a warm place. Come this way!’
The woman was surprised to see an old man in an apron, with spectacles on his nose, calling to her, but she followed him in.
They went down the steps, entered the little room, and the old man led her to the bed.
‘There, sit down, my dear, near the stove. Warm yourself, and feed the baby.’
‘Haven’t any milk. I have eaten nothing myself since early morning,’ said the woman, but still she took the baby to her breast.
Martin shook his head. He brought out a basin and some bread. Then he opened the oven door and poured some cabbage soup into the basin. He took out the porridge pot also but the porridge was not yet ready, so he spread a cloth on the table and served only the soup and bread.
‘Sit down and eat, my dear, and I’ll mind the baby. Why, bless me, I’ve had children of my own; I know how to manage them.’
The woman crossed herself, and sitting down at the table began to eat, while Martin put the baby on the bed and sat down by it. He chucked and chucked, but having no teeth he could not do it well and the baby continued to cry. Then Martin tried poking at him with his finger; he drove his finger straight at the baby’s mouth and then quickly drew it back, and did this again and again. He did not let the baby take his finger in its mouth, because it was all black with cobbler’s wax. But the baby first grew quiet watching the finger, and then began to laugh. And Martin felt quite pleased.
The woman sat eating and talking, and told him who she was, and where she had been.
‘I’m a soldier’s wife,’ said she. ‘They sent my husband somewhere, far away, eight months ago, and I have heard nothing of him since. I had a place as cook till my baby was born, but then they would not keep me with a child. For three months now I have been struggling, unable to find a place, and I’ve had to sell all I had for food. I tried to go as a wet-nurse, but no one would have me; they said I was too starved-looking and thin. Now I have just been to see a tradesman’s wife (a woman from our village is in service with her) and she has promised to take me. I thought it was all settled at last, but she tells me not to come till next week. It is far to her place, and I am fagged out, and baby is quite starved, poor mite. Fortunately our landlady has pity on us, and lets us lodge free, else I don’t know what we should do.’
Martin sighed. ‘Haven’t you any warmer clothing?’ he asked.
‘How could I get warm clothing?’ said she. ‘Why I pawned my last shawl for sixpence yesterday.’
Then the woman came and took the child, and Martin got up. He went and looked among some things that were hanging on the wall, and brought back an old cloak.
‘Here,’ he said, ‘though it’s a worn-out old thing, it will do to wrap him up in.’
The woman looked at the cloak, then at the old man, and taking it, burst into tears. Martin turned away, and groping under the bed brought out a small trunk. He fumbled about in it, and again sat down opposite the woman. And the woman said:
‘The Lord bless you, friend. Surely Christ must have sent me to your window, else the child would have frozen. It was mild when I started, but now see how cold it has turned. Surely it must have been Christ who made you look out of your window and take pity on me, poor wretch!’
Martin smiled and said; ‘It is quite true; it was he made me do it. It was no mere chance made me look out.’
And he told the woman his dream, and how he had heard the Lord’s voice promising to visit him that day.
‘Who knows? All things are possible,’ said the woman. And she got up and threw the cloak over her shoulders, wrapping it round herself and round the baby. Then she bowed, and thanked Martin once more.
‘Take this for Christ’s sake,’ said Martin, and gave her sixpence to get her shawl out of pawn. The woman crossed herself, and Martin did the same, and then he saw her out.
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After the woman had gone, Martin ate some cabbage soup, cleared the things away, and sat down to work again. He sat and worked, but did not forget the window, and every time a shadow fell on it he looked up at once to see who was passing. People he knew and strangers passed by, but no one remarkable.
After a while Martin saw an apple-woman stop just in front of his window. She had a large basket, but there did not seem to be many apples left in it; she had evidently sold most of her stock. On her back she had a sack full of chips, which she was taking home. No doubt she had gathered them at some place where building was going on. The sack evidently hurt her, and she wanted to shift it from one shoulder to the other, so she put it down on the footpath and, placing her basket on a post, began to shake down the chips in the sack. While she was doing this a boy in a tattered cap ran up, snatched an apple out of the basket, and tried to slip away; but the old woman noticed it, and turning, caught the boy by his sleeve. He began to struggle, trying to free himself, but the old woman held on with both hands, knocked his cap off his head, and seized hold of his hair. The boy screamed and the old woman scolded. Martin dropped his awl, not waiting to stick it in its place, and rushed out of the door. Stumbling up the steps, and dropping his spectacles in his hurry, he ran out into the street. The old woman was pulling the boy’s hair and scolding him, and threatening to take him to the police. The lad was struggling and protesting, saying, ‘I did not take it. What are you beating me for? Let me go!’
Martin separated them. He took the boy by the hand and said, ‘Let him go, Granny. Forgive him for Christ’s sake.’
‘I’ll pay him out, so that he won’t forget it for a year! I’ll take the rascal to the police!’ Martin began entreating the old woman.
‘Let him go, Granny. He won’t do it again. Let him go for Christ’s sake!’
The old woman let go, and the boy wished to run away, but Martin stopped him
‘Ask the Granny’s forgiveness!’ said he. ‘And don’t do it another time. I saw you take the apple.’
The boy began to cry and to beg pardon.
‘That’s right. And now here’s an apple for you, and Martin took an apple from the basket and gave it to the boy, saying, ‘I will pay you, Granny.’
‘You will spoil them that way, the young rascals,’ said the old woman. ‘He ought to be whipped so that he should remember it for a week.’
‘Oh, Granny, Granny,’ said Martin, ‘that’s our way — but it’s not God’s way. If he should be whipped for stealing an apple, what should be done to us for our sins?’
The old woman was silent.
And Martin told her the parable of the lord who forgave his servant a large debt, and how the servant went out and seized his debtor by the throat. The old woman listened to it all, and the boy, too, stood by and listened.
‘God bids us forgive,’ said Martin, ‘or else we shall not be forgiven. Forgive every one; and a thoughtless youngster most of all.’
The old woman wagged her head and sighed.
‘It’s true enough,’ said she, ‘but they are getting terribly spoilt.’
‘Then we old ones must show them better ways,’ Martin replied.
‘That’s just what I say,’ said the old woman. ‘I have had seven of them myself, and only one daughter is left.’ And the old woman began to tell how and where she was living with her daughter, and how many grandchildren she had. ‘There now,’ she said, ‘I have but little strength left, yet I work hard for the sake of my grandchildren; and nice children they are, too. No one comes out to meet me but the children. Little Annie, now, won’t leave me for any one. “It’s grandmother, dear grandmother, darling grandmother.”‘ And the old woman completely softened at the thought.
‘Of course, it was only his childishness, God help him,’ said she, referring to the boy.
As the old woman was about to hoist her sack on her back, the lad sprang forward to her, saying, ‘Let me carry it for you, Granny. I’m going that way.’
The old woman nodded her head, and put the sack on the boy’s back, and they went down the street together, the old woman quite forgetting to ask Martin to pay for the apple. Martin stood and watched them as they went along talking to each other.
When they were out of sight Martin went back to the house. Having found his spectacles unbroken on the steps, he picked up his awl and sat down again to work. He worked a little, but could soon not see to pass the bristle through the holes in the leather; and presently he noticed the lamplighter passing on his way to light the street lamps.
‘Seems it’s time to light up,’ thought he. So he trimmed his lamp, hung it up, and sat down again to work. He finished off one boot and, turning it about, examined it. It was all right. Then he gathered his tools together, swept up the cuttings, put away the bristles and the thread and the awls, and, taking down the lamp, placed it on the table. Then he took the Gospels from the shelf. He meant to open them at the place he had marked the day before with a bit of morocco, but the book opened at another place. As Martin opened it, his yesterday’s dream came back to his mind, and no sooner had he thought of it than he seemed to hear footsteps, as though some one were moving behind him. Martin turned round, and it seemed to him as if people were standing in the dark corner, but he could not make out who they were. And a voice whispered in his ear: ‘Martin, Martin, don’t you know me?’
‘Who is it?’ muttered Martin.
‘It is I,’ said the voice. And out of the dark corner stepped Stepánitch, who smiled and vanishing like a cloud was seen no more.
‘It is I,’ said the voice again. And out of the darkness stepped the woman with the baby in her arms and the woman smiled and the baby laughed, and they too vanished.
‘It is I,’ said the voice once more. And the old woman and the boy with the apple stepped out and both smiled, and then they too vanished.
And Martin’s soul grew glad. He crossed himself put on his spectacles, and began reading the Gospel just where it had opened; and at the top of the page he read
‘I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in.’
And at the bottom of the page he read
 
‘Inasmuch as ye did it unto one of these my brethren even these least, ye did it unto me’(Matt. xxv).
And Martin understood that his dream had come true; and that the Saviour had really come to him that day, and he had welcomed him.
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The Old Shoemaker

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This video is based off of the short story, “Where Love Is, God Is“, by Leo Tolstoy.
It is a sweet tale about an old cobbler who sees the Lord.
                   
May you see God today. Have a blessed Friday:)
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“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”
~Matthew 25:40
 
 

The Beehive Challenge

Today, September 23rd, 2014 marks the start of a new approach for this small little blog. Today is the launch of something that has been in the works for quite a while, but it has never felt right to start until today.

And now for a drum roll please!!!!

I Introduce to You!
 (linked above)

This idea has been something that I’ve been toying with for quite a while. A couple years ago, the LDS church came out a publication recognizing 100 years of Girls’ Camp. In this publication, they listed some of the goals that girls of the early 1920  accomplished through the Beehive Girls Program (similar to the original design of Girl Scouts or Campfire Girls).

Girls would learn skills in any area that interested them and would come together to discuss what they learned, share their knowledge, delight in the joys of womanhood (WO-MAN-HO), and fellowship together to give praise to the Lord.

As the times changed, so did the program. Eventually it was no longer relevant to the needs of the girls in the world and so it became a memory to the few left who participated. The program was replaced by the Personal Progress program (which most LDS ladies today have grown up with). Personal Progress has also taken many forms. Today it focuses mainly on finding your relationship with God and making your own path to Him through the of learning life skills and offering service to others. Where this Program is wonderful and commendable in its own right, there seems to be something in regards to the completeness and well rounded person that is idealized in the goals of the Beehive Girls. Where Personal Progress is a wonderful tool (I encourage mothers, daughters, grandmothers, wives, etc. to look at the lessons and continue to work on new goals as it truly does have a way of focusing our lives around our Lord), there is something lacking in the general gaining of life skills that are of a more practical and self-sufficient nature in the adult world.

The goal of this challenge is to be an aid used for learning skills that have been forgotten through the last century. The tasks set in this challenge are not meant to be a hindrance or distraction from anything of the busy lives of women today, but rather a tool to help guide a restoration of practical skills. Although some of the skills listed in the book are dated (most people don’t need to know how to drive a team of horses, or have a need to kill dozens of house flies because they are ever present), there is still much we can learn from the skills that these young women once learned. Wouldn’t it be nice to know which how to dress wounds and clean bandages? Wouldn’t it be easier to understand babies if you knew what each cry meant? Wouldn’t knowing how to sew save you tons of money by mending an article that ripped or a child outgrew rather than going to buy a new one when it is perfectly salvageable?

That is the purpose of this challenge- to see how much you can learn.

If our call as women is to be as the one described in Proverbs 31, then let us take the challenge and mark how we can improve our world. Confidence grows when people are enabled. What better way to grow your confidence than to be well rounded and capable?

“Strength and Honour are her clothing; and she shall rejoice in time to come”
~ Proverbs 31:25 KJV

May the Lord Bless you today.

Living in the Now

Sometimes we get caught up in the thick of thin things, we forget to live for the day we are in, and we take for granted the blessings God has given us. It’s important to be ambitious and to work to improve our lives- but we can not afford to sacrifice what is happening in the here and now, for what is just a possibility tomorrow. Yes, we need to plan for the future. Yes, we need to make ourselves ready for the struggles yet to come. But we can not allow ourselves lose sight of the good we have now. We must show our gratitude to Him by living in the moment. 
What tale will we have to tell, at the end of our lives, if we don’t make the time to be where we are and live for those blessed moments?
God gives us opportunities to make memories. He wants us to find joy. Sometimes it takes a little work, but what blessings we will receive when we look at the Father and tell him we did our best and learned from the trials He set before us. 
We must exhibit faith. Faith is a verb. It is not something that you posses once and are done with. We must show the Lord that we are devoted to His work. 
We must try our best to be His hands. But we can not do that if all we ever do is think about a moment that we do not live in.
 May you find strength in the Lord- in His timing.
May you nurture your faith and find peace in His works.

Let God bless you and comfort you.