Receive

God’s love is there for you whether or not you deserve it. It is simply always there.

-President Thomas S. Monson

Don’t fall into the trap
Even as you mourn
Seek to help others
Especially when feeling shorn
Reality is seen as harsh
Vote to be more than you were born
Even as you stumble, help others as been shown

I read once that we were born to learn what love was and to learn to love what comes after. I have to respectfully disagree.

This life does not prepare us to love what comes after. We enter this world with that love already. We knew it before we were born, but we did not understand it.

That is what this life does. It teaches us to understand love. To understand that we aren’t always deserving of love, but that it is there even, no, especially when we do not deserve it. And to teach us to love others no matter whether they deserve it or not.

It All Hinged

I’ve heard off and on throughout my life that “when God closes a door, He often opens a window,” but what if He doesn’t?

What if, instead, He gives you just enough leverage to remove the door’s hinges instead?

Just, hear me out.

Sometimes there’s no window. You can’t see what you’re doing because it’s so dark, you only have the light from the crack in the bottom of the door and you know that it’s not good on the other side or you wouldn’t have shut yourself in that room in the first place.

But you got yourself into that room and with some hep, you know you can get yourself back out the way you came in, you just have to get back through the door.

But what happens when you’ve locked the door behind you and dropped the key in the darkness?

You reach around trying to find the key and you find something else instead?

There are different ways to get out of the room, different tools that the Lord can give you to help you find Him once again.

Sometimes He gives you that window first mentioned.

Sometimes it’s the key you just dropped.

Or a lock pick.

Or a conveniently placed trapdoor.

Sometimes it’s tools to get the hinges off the door.

Either way, there is always a way out, because there was a way in.

“Dawn” by my mother

My first books of poetry were given to me by my mother. At the time I was studying different styles of poetry in elementary school and found that I loved it, even if it was one of those things that I wasn’t the best at. It wasn’t until several years later, when cleaning out some boxes from the storage room, that I found a slim red-covered notebook with ‘A Collection of Poetry’ written on the front page in my mom’s elegant cursive.

(Seriously, her cursive is so beautiful that it reminds me of calligraphy. I lament the fact that cursive wasn’t as important during my learning years as it obviously was during hers.)

Inside of the notebook held a lovely collection of works that my mom had written throughout her life. Many of them were written for people that I have never met, but my favorite one is the first one inside the notebook. It goes as follows:

Dawn
 
I saw my daughter just today,
All rosy pink and new.
My precious little gift from God
Shone fresh as morning dew.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
Her chubby hands still held
Her favorite doll, a circus clown,
All ragged, smiling still.
 
I saw my daughter just today
With pigtails curling round,
And tied with ribbons, white and pink,
Dressed in my evening gown
 
I saw my daughter just today
With rouge and lipstick on,
High heels and all the latest styles:
My little girl was gone.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A woman now, full grown.
Her beauty took my breath away;
Oh, how the years have flown!
 
I saw my daughter just today,
So still and white with death.
I pled with God with all my heart,
“Please, do not take her yet!”
 
I saw my daughter just today,
She talked of memories sweet,
And of tomorrows we will share
When once again we meet.
 
I saw my daughter just today,
A promise in her eyes.
“Someday I’ll be with you again,
We’ll say no more goodbyes.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“Keep close to God,” she said.
“Draw comfort from the things He says
And death won’t be so sad.”
 
I saw my daughter just today.
“It’s time for me to go.
My love for you is always here
Because you loved me so.”

She wrote this for her cousin when she lost her daughter. I don’t think I was even born at the time. She says she was cooking dinner at the time she received the call from her sister-in-law. Mom had to stop what she was doing, sit down and just write this.

“It just flowed.”

I still can’t read this poem without crying no matter how old I have gotten and how many times I’ve traced her words.

Written for Suzie’s Weekly Challenge: http://suzie81speaks.com/2014/06/08/weekly-word-challenge-books-poetry-and-prose/

The Dress

Once upon a time there was a dressmaker. He was an expert craftsman and made beautiful dresses. He made dresses of different shapes and sizes, different fabrics and colors. One dress he made was for a little girl, and it was a beautiful dress.

The dress was much loved and worn whenever possible until one day it ripped.

The dress was still very beautiful, the fabric not faded, but ripped. The girl could not mend it and neither could her family, so they put it away in the dark.

Years would pass and someone, now and then, would find the dress.

“Oh! What a beautiful dress!” they would say, “but it is ripped and I do not know how to fix it.”

And so, they would put the dress away, back in the dark.

One day a woman found the dress hidden away.

“Oh! What a beautiful dress!” she said and then she noticed the rip. “Oh, but it is ripped! I am not a dressmaker and I am not good with a needle, but I can stitch.”

She took a needle and found some thread.

“My thread is not the right color,” she said, “and my stiches are not even, but I can mend this rip.”

She threaded her needle with the thread and began to mend the dress. There were times when she had to stop and take the thread out and start over, but she did not give up.

“There!” she said once her work was done, “It is whole!”

Once the dress was mended, she washed it and hung it up for another little girl to wear.

“Oh!” the little girl said, “What a beautiful dress!”


This was written several months ago and was inspired by two things, two people.

The first is a dear friend of mine who found me, hiding away in the dark, sad and alone and afraid of interacting with those who were not already close (and what a small number that was). She befriended me and even when we were only able to text, she would talk with me every week without fail, just to see how I was doing. She was genuine and sincere and everything I needed to know existed still today. She recently was married and I was very privileged to attend and watch her in her beautiful dress promise herself to her husband and he to her.

This story is dedicated to her.

The second person is my eldest niece. I had been struggling for a way to express my feelings concerning my friend. At the beginning of the year, I found a dress that had belonged to my niece’s mother. It was a beautiful turquoise dress that was very simple, but had been worn at least once by the majority of my sisters once it no longer fit my second eldest sister. Along the way, there was a rip that developed in one side. It wasn’t a long rip, but it was placed in such a way that the dress shouldn’t be worn. It was laced away by my mother to be mended at another time and then was lost. I found it earlier this year as stated above and realized that I could mend it. I did so (though like in the story, the thread isn’t quite right), I washed it and that same day that the rest of the story came to me, my niece had pulled the dress on for the first time to wear to church. Sitting in Sacrament Meeting, the rest of the story came to me later that day.

The Dressmaker made all of us so beautifully, using different patterns and styles and fabrics. We are each of us gorgeous and our colors do not fade, but we can become torn and ripped and dirty from wear in the world. Sometimes (too often) we are put away in the dark, sad and alone. There are those who find us, see that we are broken and for whatever reason (inability, indifference, being too torn themselves) they do not pull us out of the dark. Then there are those who come along and pull us out. They see that we are beautiful, even if we are torn or dirty and though they do not feel as if they can mend us or help us adequately, they still try and in the end, their love made all the difference.

Thank you, my friend, thank you for finding me in the dark and not focusing on how I was damaged, but instead how I was beautiful. You were not perfect, but you loved me and cared for me with a perfect love.