Sunday, May 31, 2015
Posted by shahna at 19:46
Wednesday, May 20, 2015
The other day as I was ricocheting slowly
off the blue walls of this room
bouncing from typewriter to piano
from bookshelf to an envelope lying on the floor,
I found myself in the "L"section of the dictionary
where my eyes fell upon the word, Lanyard.
No cookie nibbled by a French novelist
could send one more suddenly into the past.
A past where I sat at a workbench
at a camp by a deep Adirondack lake
learning how to braid thin plastic strips into a lanyard.
A gift for my mother.
I had never seen anyone use a lanyard.
Or wear one, if that's what you did with them.
But that did not keep me from crossing strand over strand
again and again until I had made a boxy, red and white lanyard for my mother.
She gave me life and milk from her breasts,
and I gave her a lanyard
She nursed me in many a sick room,
lifted teaspoons of medicine to my lips,
set cold facecloths on my forehead
then led me out into the airy light
and taught me to walk and swim and I in turn presented her with a lanyard.
"Here are thousands of meals" she said,
"and here is clothing and a good education."
"And here is your lanyard," I replied,
"which I made with a little help from a counselor."
"Here is a breathing body and a beating heart,
strong legs, bones and teeth and two clear eyes to read the world." she whispered.
"And here," I said, "is the lanyard I made at camp."
"And here," I wish to say to her now,
"is a smaller gift. Not the archaic truth,
that you can never repay your mother,
but the rueful admission that when she took the two-toned lanyard from my hands,
I was as sure as a boy could be
that this useless worthless thing I wove out of boredom
would be enough to make us even."
Posted by shahna at 18:15
We have been kinda struggling over here at the Argyle house of late. One of our teenage girls recently came to me and suggested that she (paraphrasing here) "wasn't really feeling the love" from some of the girls in her youth group and she wondered if she could occasionally skip out on going to her youth midweek activities.
I was so sad.
This is something we have been trying to navigate for the better part of the school year. It is nothing that most teenage girls don't experience at some point. I resolved pretty early on that we were going to deal with it as a family and not involve anyone else. When I prayed for guidance the last six months or so, it was clear to me that was the best course of action.
Admittedly, however, when she came to me with this latest request - to bow out of her activities- albeit "occasionally", I knew the problem was bigger than I had previously thought.
I worried. A lot. I sought counsel from friends of teenage girls who my gut told me had been here and done this. They had LOTS of really helpful advice. What to do. What not to do. One friend who had shouldered this same challenge with three of her daughters (Which tells you how universal it is) pointed out that I had a great opportunity to teach my daughter that there are blessings associated with obedience and being WHERE you should be WHEN you should be. I loved that!
But I am most grateful for the counsel that the Holy Ghost gave me. Last week as I sat in a church meeting with my arm around this beloved daughter, personal revelation came.
It said. "you are worried about the wrong thing". "She doesn't feel 'safe' anymore at church and so she can't feel the spirit when she is here. THAT is the problem. What are you going to do about it?"
I came home and told Brent what I had felt and told him that we have to be more vigilant at home. We have to create as many opportunities as possible to help this girl of ours feel the influence of the Holy Ghost and then recognize it. I don't want her situation at church - even though I am sure it is probably temporary- to damage her fragile testimony. We have some compensating to do here at home until things improve - and they will.
Until then, we soldier on. We read scripture, we pray, we attend our meetings, we express love, and we try to treat others with kindness.
Posted by shahna at 17:47
Tuesday, May 19, 2015
This is such a fantastic analogy and I just think it is right on!
Your testimony is like a rock wall. (Don't worry about the purpose of the wall--the analogy doesn't stretch that far.) Everyone is constantly building to their walls, stone by stone. And every now and then, you may stumble upon a stone and not see exactly where it fits. It may be labeled "gay marriage" or "visiting teaching" or "hymns are boring" or "why do we have so many freaking meetings and why are they so freaking long." But that doesn't mean you abandon the wall. It means you set the stone aside and keep building with what you DO know. And as you build, you may suddenly see where that stone fits. Some people have likened this process to a jigsaw puzzle, but that implies that everyone's testimony looks the same eventually. I like the stone wall better because everyone's will look completely different, and have different foundations, but all of them are still valid. It can be frustrating to feel sometimes like you're surrounded by stones you don't understand. But hang in there. You'll find their place eventually. And as you do, you'll find your OWN place, too.
Posted by shahna at 13:35
Wednesday, May 13, 2015
Posted by shahna at 16:59
Saturday, May 9, 2015
Posted by shahna at 16:58
Tuesday, May 5, 2015
Posted by shahna at 18:37