Sunday, April 9, 2017

Dandelion Mama




My 6 year old granddaughter, Elli, brought me a surprise.  In her clenched fist was a tiny bouquet of dandelions already exhibiting the wilt stage and on her face was a smile radiating unadulterated joy.
 ( I pray we could all remember that pure delight that happens when we give.)

Roots ...ok they're burdock...I don't have dandelion roots spelling joy!!  And, this was not intentional!!





Dandelion celebrating spring.  Notice the brown ground--nothing else is braving the erratic weather.
We brought them into the house, placed them in a small glass of water and put them in a place of honor on the kitchen window sill.  By this time the cheery dandelion blossoms that had been basking in the bright sunlight began to close.  They looked as if they were turning their backs on the world, retreating to a private place to die.  (Elli, ever the thinker, asked that if they were dead, then how could they close?)

 Each morning I watched the dandelions state of decline grow ever more pitiful.  The limp stage.  The brown stage.  The I-really-should-compost-them stage.  One morning I noticed something changed:  the blossoms looked…different.  The next morning I knew what it was.

The dead and gone dandelion blossoms were making seeds.  Yes, the dandelions were transforming into  familiar white balls of fluff we’ve all made wishes on.

The dandelion, literally on her death bed, gave her last bit of life energy to make a baby. (OK, a lot of babies.)  Some folks would launch into an evolution lesson.  Others would go so far as to marvel about Mother Nature.  But, I see the pure Love of Christ.  The Love that created our world and everything in it.  The Love that drives us to want children.  The Love that with our dying breath will do anything for those children

In our culture we see atrocities on a daily basis committed against children.  The abortion numbers gain ground one small heartbeat at a time.  

We should take a cue from the dandelions: give everything we have to assure the life of the baby.  Our children should be the heart and soul of our society.  We should respect their innocence, infuse them with love and nurture their souls.
I wish all babies could have a chance at life.


Monday, May 9, 2016

Everyone's A Mormon...



Well, at least at heart.  I have proof.  Two words.  Blue Blood.

Over 13.8 million weekly viewers tune in to watch another good-guy/bad-guy, cops ‘n robbers shoot out.

Why?  Is it because Tom Selleck graces the screen with his calm sophistication and underlying charm?  If that’s the wrong generation for you, how about Donnie Wahlberg?  His dual singer/actor persona hits a girl right in the swoon area.  Or, maybe you are drawn to the savvy Bridget Moynahan who navigates a precarious balance between the spirit of the law and the letter of the law while maintaining family harmony and raising a responsible teen.  

For me, it was none of these things.  It was the FAMILY DINNER.  I fell in love with the family dinner.  A safe gathering place for family to be themselves and know they are loved.
This week Donnie Wahlberg was on CBS This Morning.  In discussing the rocket-booster popularity of Blue Blood, one thing stood out in contrast to any other drama or comedy on TV:  

 The Family Dinner.

One of our family dinners

While other shows mock, belittle and disrespect fathers (moms, too, but mostly fathers), Blue Blood stands as a beacon shining on a value that is being trampled, throttled, stomped on and packed down by our culture.  The contempt and disregard for fathers is being demonstrated in every media available to us, and more importantly to our youth.

HONOR THY FATHER AND MOTHER

This value is at the very heart of our civilization.  It’s one of the fibers that binds together republicans and democrats, Catholics and atheists, Mormons and Methodists, blacks and browns and whites, literates and illiterates, rich and poor and Abrahamic religions with one another.    Honoring and respecting our parents plants within us a common core and weaves us into a cohesive culture.
When this value is misplaced, society suffers.  I see it every day in our headlines and in our homes.

It is no secret Mormons place the family at the very heart of the meaning of life.  In every meeting love and respect for family wafts through the air penetrating every psyche, influencing every plan, enveloping every heart.  There’s even a night set aside (usually, but not always, a Monday night.) especially FOR families to eat together, learn together, play and pray together, grow together.   

 Family Home Evening. 



When I saw that so many viewers were drawn to Blue Blood because of the family dinner, I felt a kinship, a connection with them.  I felt a tie binding us together.  I felt hope.  In spite of what we witness on the media, we are truly one big family.  

OK, everyone’s not a Mormon.  But, if you are drawn to the family dinner on Blue Blood, then you are experiencing a tiny Mormon moment.

And, thanks Mom for all those family dinners

Here is a family home evening project: Daniel, Lions and Me       For instructions GO HERE

Daniel, Lions and Me







Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Dear Grandchildren






You are a light in my dark room.  You are a smile that comes from nowhere.  You are a spark of warmth in my heart.  You are a focus of my thoughts and prayers.

You are growing up much faster then your parents, but then I grew up faster than my mom.  It's the way of the world--like it or not.  During this fast paced trip to adultatopia, you--we all--need rules.  Rules are like the railing on a toddlers first bed.  They keep you from falling into places you may not be able to get out of by yourself.

I just thought perhaps you would like to take a look at the rules YOUR mom or dad had to abide by when they were growing up.   I first posted this old list of rules in a letter to my children IN JANUARY 2011--FIND THAT ARTICLE HERE

This time it's for you.  Maybe reading it will give you a greater perspective.  Maybe the rules you now have to abide by won't seem so bad.  Or, for those of you who are out on your own, maybe you will realize rules are always necessary, even if you have to impose them upon yourself.

I made this list of rules way back in 1984. My kids--your mom or dad--were ages 12, 15 & 17.  I think it might make you thankful for the rules your parents have given you.   (Especially the one about the phone!!)              Love, Nana  :)





SUMMER RULES  1984
FRIENDS 
Please do not invite friends in the house when parents are not home.
If you go to someone else’s house, their parents have to be home.
Let us know WHERE YOU ARE GOING TO BE.
No last minute over-nights.

TV
TAKE TURNS deciding what to watch---check schedule in cabinet.
Two hour MAXIMUM daytime TV –this means before 7 PM.
No late night TV except by special permission.  Remember, you are on vacation, but Dad and Mom are not.

TELEPHONE
Sorry, 5 minute limit.  IF YOU BREAK THIS RULE, YOU WILL BE GROUNDED FROM THE PHONE.
Please ask friends not to call before noon.

ROOM
Continue to make your beds daily and keep your room tidy.  YOU CANNOT DO ANYTHING UNTIL YOUR ROOM IS IN SHAPE. SO DO IT AS SOON AS YOU GET UP.

YARD
You MUST keep the lawn mowed!  Don’t worry, we’ll take turns.

FOOD
We will continue to have lunch at noon and supper at 4:30.  We are going to take turns fixing lunch, check schedule in cabinet.  You may decide the menu.
CLEAN UP YOUR OWN MESS IN THE KITCHEN.
You will also take a turn at suppertime chores.  Check schedule.