where sisters, sibling rivalry, and creativity collide.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Parable of the Lazy Woman

There once was a woman that diligently took care of her home finances.  Twice a month she reviewed household expenses and paid those things which were due to creditors.  Over time this task became slightly mindless and tedious.  The woman still reviewed the expenses but once in a while she skimmed to save a few minutes and get on to other things that were more to her liking.  This woman had become lazy in her dealings with creditors.

A letter came in the mail one day, "Your insurance statement has expired please send us a copy of the renewal.".  Being a overconfident woman she ignored it scoffing, "I have paid this of course, silly mortgage company.", and she threw the letter into the shredder.

A week or so later a nice surprise came in the mail, the diligent woman had paid her car insurance twice and a refund check had been issued.  Oh, goodie!  The very next day a nasty letter from the mortgage company arrived, "You have until October 20th to send us your insurance renewal or we will impose insurance on you.".  The woman angrily called the insurance company, "Why are you being so lazy?", she asked.  "Your bill hasn't been paid madam.", the pleasant young man explained.  "What?  This can't be! I am a diligent woman!", she cried.  They went through payments and discovered that she had indeed made the car insurance payment twice and nothing to the homeowners insurance, the amount was within a few pennies of each other.

"Oh, dear.", thought the woman, "What have I done?  What have I become? Am I truly becoming a lazy woman?"  She took out her binders, looked up their accounts: she spent time as she hadn't in years.  She sorted and shredded and amended and made right those accounts which she thought she had been so diligently overseeing.  She recommitted herself to making her family finances better and keeping her husband abreast so he could take over if the need arose.

President Eyring gave a talk on this in April Conference 2010.

He said:

“Wherefore, now let every man learn his duty, and to act in the office in which he is appointed, in all diligence.
“He that is slothful shall not be counted worthy to stand, and he that learns not his duty and shows himself not approved shall not be counted worthy to stand. Even so. Amen.”    D&C 107:99-100 
We are to learn our duty from the Lord, and then we are to act in all diligence, never being lazy or slothful.
There are definitely things that we get complacent doing.  Things that seem easy and rote but we should take even the little things for granted.  We need to act diligently so we can stand with the worthy.

Monday, October 28, 2013

The Parable of Laura's Tree

Matthew 17:20 

20 And Jesus said unto them, Because of your unbelief: for verily I say unto you, If ye have faith as a grain of mustard seed, ye shall say unto this mountain, Remove hence to yonder place; and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible unto you.


This is a parable that I used when I taught my Relief Society lesson this week on Jeffery R. Holland's "Lord, I Believe" talk in the April 2013 General Conference:

When Laura was 4 or 5 I signed her up for dance lessons.  This I should not have done.  She is no dancer.  But I didn't know that yet.  On the very first day of class, her teacher had all the little pink Martha Graham hopefuls clustered around her and she looked into their malleable faces and said, "Today, we're going to pretend to be trees."

The teacher crouched low to the ground like a seed planted in the earth.  Eight little girls followed her lead.  The music began to play and the teacher began to unfurl herself and lift herself out of the crouch and eventually stood straight and tall, her arms reaching up like branches.  Seven little girls followed her lead.

All but Laura.  Laura was still curled up on the ground and moving imperceptibly. The rest of the class moved on to the next exercise while she unconcernedly kept growing her tree.

So, we get to the end of class and I ask her, "What were you doing there when everyone was being a tree?"  "Mom," she said.  "Trees grow very slowly."

Elder Holland says this:  "The size of your faith or the degree of your knowledge is not the issue—it is the integrity you demonstrate toward the faith you do have and the truth you already know...What was once a tiny seed of belief for me has grown into the tree of life..."

Laura's parable teaches that not only do trees grow slowly, they also don't grow at the same speed.  We don't need to get caught up comparing our faith with the faith of others or lose heart when our faith in one principle is a fully furled tree while our faith in another principle seems like it's still a seed.  As long as we have 'integrity toward the faith' we do have and try to grow it always.

The Parable of the Louse

Several weeks ago I got an alarming letter and email from the school warning that there had been confirmed cases of lice.  Not worrying too much, I did a cursory look and thought everything was fine.

Well, a couple weeks have elapsed and I have gotten one more note from the school to which I promptly recycled.  We were good.

After a busy day of playing, trunk or treat, and a party, Lily proceeds to inform me that her head itches.  It's late, I'm tired, and my eyes are crossed, I don't see anything. 

The next day, she's getting in the shower and I stop her to do another check.  Sure enough...lice!

Did I heed the warnings?  Was I complacent?  Once I discovered the "wrong" did I make it "right"?

(Stay tuned to discover what happens next!)

The Parable of the "Shortcut"

The Parable of the "Shortcut"

About 15 years ago, I went on my first 50 mile hike, on the Pacific Crest Trail.  One day, as we were hiking, we came to a split in the trail.  The trail to the left was clearly marked with ‘blazes’ – but the one to the right was also marked – the blazes were older, but still there.

We must have looked at a map, we knew that the newer section of trail would eventually join back up with the old section.  We also knew that the newer section of trail was longer than the old one.  Some of use decided to take the old shortcut. The old trail was shorter, but those of us who took it soon learned why it wasn’t in use any more.  The farther down this trail we went, the scarier it got. There were dozens and dozens (perhaps hundreds…it felt like hundreds…) of fallen trees across the trail. 
Some of these trees were quite large…which meant that we either had to crawl under, climb over or hike around nearly every tree – which isn’t that easy when you’re carrying a large backpack.  We did eventually make it back to the main trail, but our shortcut had turned into a ‘longcut’.

Who hath ears to hear, let him hear. 

In my parable, the two trails can represent modern revelation and ancient scripture.   The “shortcut” is like the Bible.  It’s old and established…but every time someone translated something incorrectly, it’s like a tree across the path – makes it more difficult to understand.   You could liken the newer trail to the Book of Mormon.  Sometimes it might seem long (I’m looking at you, Alma), but overall it’s easier to understand.

You could also liken this parable to living prophets vs. dead prophets.  The newer path represents our current prophet. President Monson gives us counsel on what concerns us today. He keeps our trail clear and ready to use. The old trail will still get you there - but it's sometimes covered with unnecessary obstacles.

This parable could also apply to choice and accountability...  We eventually were able to get back to the main trail, but how much easier it would have been had we stayed with the well marked trail.  When we go down those scary paths, we need to remember the guides or markers that we can use to return to the good path.  The scriptures, the example of the Savior for how to live, the words of the prophet, prayer, repentance - the list goes on - there are so many things to help us on our way and we need to avail ourselves of them often, so we don’t go astray.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

The Personal Parable Challenge

At Time Our For Women one of the women spoke about Personal Parables.  She made it a point to try and find PP in her life and learn and grow from them.  So the challenge this week is to find at least ONE Personal Parable and write it in parable form.  What is parable form?

A parable can be loosely described as a short, fictional narrative that draws the reader into an insight concerning some aspect of faith and life. Parables often work best when they challenge commonly held attitudes and unmask the poverty of some widely held value. Parables are generally structured in a very simple and stark way, with a narrative that avoids any unnecessary detail that may detract from the central, evocative message.–Peter Rollins
It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.
–Henry David Thoreau 

This is a lovely paradoxical way of drawing attention to a very important distinction between different ways of perceiving something. Thoreau points out that one may look at something and still not see it.

I found this handy link that might help you on your PPQ*:  http://www.howtowriteaparable.com/

*Personal Parable Quest

Talk #2 - Elder Robert D. Hales


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A little felt, a little glue and some spiders

Here is my first 'sewing' project.  I made small witches hat invitations.

I had to play with the size a bit until I had it jjjuuuuussstt right.  It is about 5" tall.  I put a ribbon through the middle so I could hang the invitation and the glue the spider.  It took me about an hour to get it right.  I figured with cutting it out it would take about 7 minutes per hat and I had to do 16 of them.  You do the math.

Then I had to go to Michael's with my 50% off coupon to buy more felt.  I found a witches hat streamer with eight 4" hats and a ribbon already through it.  I bought two for $3 each.  Cut them apart, tied on the invitation and glued on the spider. 

Stunningly simpler than the one I made.  And just as cute.  And no one will know.  Shhhhh.....

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

A Talk A Week

A few of us were lucky enough to be able to attend Time Our for Women in Denver last week.  It was a great time with sisters and friends to learn and grown.

Over the next year we want to take one theme from TOFW, "I Am This Good But Maybe I Can Be This Much More Good", and try to move our personal spiritual growth to another level.  We are going to start with watching the October 2013 General Conference talks again: just one per week. 

When you are done watching the talk post your thoughts or feelings about the talk.  Nothing long or involved, unless you are so inclined.  We need to share more of these moments of our lives.

Here is the first one:  http://www.lds.org/general-conference/2013/10/welcome-to-conference?lang=eng


This week we have a sewing challenge going on!

Here are the rules:

1.  You have to use fabric, plastic or other material typically worn in public. (Pretty wide selection here.)

2.  You need to use thread, needle, duct tape, glue or staples on said fabric choice.

3.  Oh, wait these aren't really rules: more like guidelines.  We are Hanna's after all.

Let's go!

Please post a pic of your project by Sunday.  Steps are nice but not necessary if you forget, your camera/phone is broken or (like me) you are too lazy because you just want to get done!

Okay.  Now go!

Sew happy I don't have to use one of these!!

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Follow up on 30 day Challenges

I completed my 30 day Challenges.  I picked squats and 5 minute plank.

The results are that I lost about 1/2" on thighs and .75" on hips and waist. 

I think it worked great.  The squats weren't boring since I did them watching something on tv.  The planks were boring and HARD.  I had only ever done 30 seconds at a time so this really was a challenge for me.  I don't think I will do the plank again for that long but keeping it at about 2 1/2 minutes will be just fine.

Done and done.

Friday, October 4, 2013

New Assignment

Who had Mrs. Mason at Page Elementary?  Deb and I both remember we had to memorize a poem each month.  Some were long, some were short and most were forgettable.  We both got through most of Owl and the Pusscat, what fun.

Next weeks challenge is in honor of Mrs. Mason - I wonder if she is still alive? - , we are going to memorize a poem.  Let's stretch our intellect and find something that moves us.

Please share the poem next week with what makes it important to you.  You don't have to share your poem verbally with anyone - we will work the honor system here.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Updated Journal Page

I add the pictures above to my Typical Driving Week journal pages.  I tried to upload the whole thing here but I can't figure that out and the photo I took isn't very good.  I finished - late - but I finished!