Monday, January 16, 2012

Lessons Learned from a Classic Tale

Earlier this month my cute little granddaughter, Kaylie, had her 5th birthday party. She loves Disney princesses, and since Beauty and the Beast was being re-released in the theaters, Tiffany planned a darling princess party for her and 7 of her friends. She invited me and a few other adults too. I was excited to see the movie again and especially see these cute little girls all dressed up like their favorite princess.

We headed to the Saturday afternoon showing of the movie. They were so excited and I have to admit I was too. Sitting in the theatre with those little girls took me back to the moment when Tiffany saw the movie for the first time. I don't remember how old she was...a little older than Kaylie, I think. I do remember how she use to love to dance around the house singing the songs from the movie, pretending she could "sing like Belle".

Watching the movie again, all these years later, I had a whole different perspective. I thought about the Beast or "prince" as he was before-how he chose to turn away someone in need and because of his "unkindness" he was turned into an ugly Beast and his life was one of despair, anger, and frustration. His only hope for happiness and peace was to "feel" what love really is.

Then there was Belle-she selflessly offered to take the place of her father after the Beast had taken him prisoner. She loved her father and was willing to do whatever she could to save his life.

And then there was Gaston-the "handsome" one on the outside, but very arrogant, prideful, and selfish on the inside.

The movie took on a whole new meaning for me. Every moment we spend being selfish, unkind, prideful, angry, can at first be covered by "good looks" on the outside, however, eventually those emotions surface and can cause us to look "ugly" on the outside. Belle was able to help the Beast see that love and kindness are what brings us happiness and peace and it was through small and simple moments. She was kind to him-even when he "roared " at her, and her kindness and love paid off. As it says in the song...they were barely even friends...then somebody bends...unexpectedly.

I became teary eyed as I listened to the song at the end. It's the Beauty and the Beast theme song. For when somebody chooses to recognize the moments that need to recognize they just might be "bend unexpectedly"...that's when love, kindness, and friendship can blossom fully ( like the rose in the movie) and the "beauty" comes to the surface again.

Beauty and the Beast...a tale as old as time.... kindness, love, forgiveness are all as old as time...and priceless moments.

Here are the words to the song:
"Beauty And The Beast"

Tale as old as time
True as it can be
Barely even friends
Then somebody bends

Just a little change
Small, to say the least
Both a little scared
Neither one prepared
Beauty and the Beast

Ever just the same
Ever a surprise
Ever as before
Ever just as sure
As the sun will rise

Tale as old as time
Tune as old as song
Bittersweet and strange
Finding you can change
Learning you were wrong

Certain as the sun
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the beast.

Monday, September 12, 2011

Cricket Moon Moments

A few weeks ago Jayden and Kaylie were at my house. They were restless, tired, and a little bit bored. It was getting dark and I said "Let's go outside for a listening adventure" ( I often tell them we are going on adventures...even if it's just a walk around the block) We sat on the porch and I told them to Listen and tell me what they could hear. They said things like... crickets, the wind blowing in the tree, a car driving by, a door closing. We took the time to just Listen. This little adventure only lasted a few was a time to teach them to listen when it's quiet...or you might miss something important.

Tonight I went on a walk. It was dark except for the street lights, lights from neighboring houses, and the full moon. As I walked I could hear hundreds of crickets. The air felt crisp and cool, the moon was beautiful. When I got back to my house I sat in the backyard and listened. There were crickets, voices from a neighbors yard, a car in the distance...and I looked at the moon...I remembered another listening moment that brought me great strength and growth. Last summer ( 2010) I was going through some very, very difficult moments in my life. Moments I am still struggling with...however they are getting better and I am more at peace now and alot stronger. During that summer I would often wake in the middle of the night, go out in my backyard, look at the moon, the stars, and just pray. I would pour out my heart to my Heavenly Father. Tears would be streaming down my face. Yet it was in those moments...moments under the stars, the moon, with only the sound of crickets...that I began to grow the most. Those moments brought me spiritual strength as I truly began to Listen to the Spirit more than I have in my entire life. I listened. I learned. I grew.

I'm stronger now, I'm continuing to listen and learn. And each time I hear the crickets or look at the full moon....I remember the summer of 2010 and I am eternally grateful for those "cricket moon moments" as I now call them. Listening to the Spirit is where I fnd the most peace and happiness. Take time to have those "listening moments" in your life. You just might be surprised what you learn.

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Disney Moments to Remember

This past week I spent 3 days in California with my sweet daughter, Tiffany and my darling grandkids-Jayden and Kaylie. This was a trip Tiffany had planned months ago as a graduation present ot herself. She just graduated from hair school at MATC. I was so excited to spend this time with her and the kids. Dave couldn't go and so she would be there most of the time, alone.

I flew down on Monday. She had already been there for a few days. When I arrived the kids were so excited to see me and told me all about all the rides they had been on the few days before. The next morning we awoke early and headed to the park. The first character we saw when we entered was Pluto. The kids got out their little autograph books and waited patiently for a signature. It was so cute to just watch them.

Next we were off to the rides. Jayden wanted us to go on Thunder Mt. Railroad first. It's been one of my favorites, however, I have to be careful with my back. ( 7 years ago we went to Disneyland and I came home in alot of back pain... a few months later I was having back surgery for a herniated disc...I blame Tower of Terror-haha) We were having a blast. The kids had even waited till I got there to go on Pirates of the Caribbean because I told them it was one of my favorites. Splash Mountain was on the top of Jaydens list so we headed there. Jayden was in the front of the ride and I was right behind him. All the was through he kept saying "hold on to me grandma, hold on." As we were going up the hill before that last big downhill splash ( you know the one I'm talking about, the one where they take your picture) I put one arm around his chest and I could feel his little heart just pounding. I don't know if it was fear or excitement. He had already been on the ride once so I would say it was more on the excitement side. Down we went ..we both got drenched with water, and at the bottom he said. " wasn't that so fun grandma" as he laughed. Here's what we looked like after the ride:

We had the best time. The weather was perfect. The lines were short. I loved being able to have those precious moments to watch my grandchildren laugh, smile, and enjoy something so magical. They say Disney is the "happiest place on earth". I believe that it is when you just need some moments away from the "real" world. Our trip ended on Wed. Night as we watched the "World of Color" show at California Adventure. Tears came to my eyes as I saw this spectacular sight of water, color, pictures on the water, and music. I am so grateful that I was able to have these Disney Moments. I came home with a renewed peace and happiness about me...that no matter what life throws at me, I can dream, I can wish, and I can hope for all things to be better...for dreams can come true. I will always remember these magic moments. :)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Hope,Faith and a Special Couple

Life is a journey. It is filled with moments of happiness, joy, laughter as well as heartache, discouragement and fear. Moment by moment, we fill our lives with memories, good or bad. Memories that can fill us up or tear us down. It's all a matter of perspective and choice.

This morning I woke very early and couldn't get back to sleep. Alot has been going on in my life's journey the past few years...moments that have left my heart broken and moments that have brought me joy. Moments where I've just wanted my burdens to be lifted. The thought kept rolling through my mind " go to the temple" I try to attend the temple about once a week and I love the peace the temple brings. I kept fighting it...hoping to fall back asleep...that wasn't to be. I rolled out of bed and got ready for the day and headed to the Mt. Timpanogas Temple. It was 8:30am. I did an initiatory session and then went to the celestial room to think, ponder, and pray.

As I entered the room the first thing I noticed was how bright is was. The sun was coming in the east window, which is a beautiful sight to behold. I don't think I've ever been to the temple at that time of day...the brightness was welcome and reminded me of a "brightness of hope". I've been trying to keep hope alive lately..sometimes it's not so bright however.

I sat a one of the couches, prayed, cried a little, and just soaked in the suns rays and the peaceful feeling. I scanned the room. There were about 10 other people scattered throughtout. There was the older woman who seemed to be shaking from what was either old age or a disease of some sort, the sisters who hugged in a warm embrace as they met each other, the middle aged couple who were quietly talking, another woman wiping tears from her eyes, a man with the look of a heavy burden on his face...then I noticed the couple.

They were sitting on a nearby couch. They looked to be in the 20's. I saw his face first. He had a big smile and the light in his eyes was filled with so much joy. I noticed the yellow tag attached to his shirt that read" sealing room" I then realized this couple was soon to be a matter of moments. He was talking to his soon to be bride, she was smiling and gazing at the beauty of the room. He would sometimes gently stroke her cheek. She was a beautiful young woman and I could feel the happiness and joy that they both must have been feeling. I continued to look around, ponder and pray. My thoughts turned to my own wedding day...almost 29 years ago...those feelings of love, happiness, fear...but feeling the Spirit so strong, as I sat waiting quietly to be called to the sealing room with my soon to be husband.

I glanced at the couple again and that's when I noticed something I hadn't before. It was her hands and her arms. Both of her arms were deformed...only about 8-10 inches long from her shoulder down. One had had 2 fingers and a thumb, the other had 3 fingers and a thumb and that is the hand she wore her ring on. The young man would gently take her hand in his, she would lift her little arm and rest it on his back. Suddenly a flood of emotion came over me and I felt as if my burdens weren't nearly as troublesome anymore. Here was a beautiful daughter of God, who has lived, and will continue to live, her whole life with these hands and arms. She has probably had to deal with some very hard "moments" because of the "imperfect" body she was born with. And even though the world may see her as imperfect... God and this young man love her anyway and see her as perfect. They were soon called to their sealing room and I watched him take her little fingers in his hand and escort her out the door. What a joyous moment for me to see.

I left feeling uplifted and ready to take on my own challenging moments....knowing that along my journey, I have a loving Heavenly Father who loves me and does life my burdens if I want him to,for the blessings the temple brings in my life...and for hope and faith...for sometimes that's all we can have in our challenging moments.