Tuesday, October 16, 2012

When the rains come, time to build the Ark has ended

My mind has been focused on Faith recently. I have been pondering the actions of Faith. In our church we have the Articles of Faith. Faith without works is dead. So really it is the Articles of Work. Along those lines, then, it isn't simply "We believe...." but it becomes "Men will be punished for their own sins and not for Adam's transgressions." There is no faith unless it is done, unless there is work.

On Sunday, President Westover, my current stake president, started talking about Noah building the Ark. I don't remember what exactly he said, but my heart wrote these notes:
What is it like to have a vision of your people, tell them of their imminent destruction and then watch them ignore you? And then to be about the task of building an Ark to rescue your family before the flood comes - all the while being mocked by those that declare drought. True faith - to be told of the coming tide of destruction and to go about preparing despite those around you. President Westover stated "I fear we are just dealing with life as it comes at us, and not by preparing for it."

How do we prepare for a flood in a drought - well if it's a coming flood of temptation and dark sin, we use the time we have to become fully converted to the Lord. President Westover said "Testimony is a point of departure, not a point of arrival" or in other words, you start with a testimony in a journey of becoming completely converted to the Lord. You use that testimony to grow in faith of Jesus Christ, His prophets and His leaders.

My friend commented on Facebook today about exchange she had with her mother. She stated that it was raining so hard she wish she had an Ark. Her mother replied "When the time of the rains comes, the time for building has ended."

I wonder if I am sufficiently building my Ark. Am I becoming for fully converted to the Gospel of Jesus Christ each day? Am I taking my testimony out on a test drive or on long distance road trips, or do I keep it parked in the garage, collecting dust and not miles? As a scoutmaster, I've told scouts about doom that will accompany them, if they don't prepare for the camp out. And at times I've had to watch them make mistakes and suffer from poor preparation. Am I any better of a Scout when it comes to Scoutmaster Christ?

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

again, distraction

It's 12:15 or 12:45. The one thing that's been forgotten over time, though little else. I'm asleep on the couch when I'm shaken awake. If that was 4 hours it sure didn't feel like it. I awake to my father. "I think she is gone, but with my allergies, I can't tell." I'm summoned to perform one more feat for my mother: Declare her death. I go to her room and pull on the stethoscope. For the first time ever, I hear nothing through it as I move the chest piece around. Silence. Dead silence.

Phone calls are made. My brother is told of mom's final departure. The place where my mother's remains would go comes with a hearse at 4:30. The stretcher won't fit down the turn in the hall, so five of us must wrap her body and carry her to the stretcher. It's 5:30 by the time her body is being rushed off to some university some place to be poked and prodded and studied before being returned to us as ashes in a jar.

It's that time of the year again. It started earlier this year for reasons I'm only beginning now to understand. On Sunday I met with a friend in his 50s who expects to be listed in the obits later this week as the surviving son of his mother. In talking with him, my mother's coming anniversary started coming sooner. Usually I'm distracted on the 29th, the 30th, the 31st and occasionally into August 1st. This process will be repeated on August 7th. But this year - it came early.

In quiet moments at work and even in moments of a ton to do, my mind is in a house in Fremont 7 years ago. My mind is drawn to that memory, and others just like it - where I failed to save and protect my mother. Despite three years of wonderful psycho therapy, I come back to being a lonely 13 year-old boy unable to stop his mother from attempting suicide; a powerless 17 year-old unable to convince people to buy Avon on a cold met Saturday in April; a 20 year-old who needed to go on a mission despite her desire to deal with the separation by more suicide attempts; then lastly a weak 24 year-old - unable to stop the cancer or ease her pain. In the end, it was I who got to say and confirm "Mother is dead." One more time I couldn't stop her from succumbing to the ills that fought against her. One more time, I failed my mother. And I can't change it.

I try in these days to focus on the positive. With her no longer needing my feeble attempts to care for her, I have been able to go to college, graduate from BYUI, start a wheelchair sports program at BYUI, become a vital member of a power wheelchair soccer team, help hundreds of children adapt to their disabilities and assist a few hundred adults learn to over come their disabilities. But still, for this week every year my thoughts come back to this time 7 years ago and I get distracted. I was distracted in the temple last night, unable to focus on the prayers or the blessings. Tonight Amy came by to bring comfort and as I made out with her and then cuddled with her I found - despite usually being in a euphoric state of stressless ease - I found myself going back to a time in my life when my mother died, and I declared it.

 On Monday I subconsciously bought a lego set. Something I've always done while I'm depressed. Since Monday, I've already bought another. My fast food intake is on the rise again as well (I'll start training for my charity ride in August). 
Thursday will be a day of work. I took Friday off (Kathryn and I are going hiking). But it won't matter where I'm at or what I'm doing - I know from experience that my mind will be some where else - in a quiet room with me desperately wanting to find a pulse or a heart beat and at the same time wishing to fail my mother no more. 

Monday, July 12, 2010

To do a PAD or Not to do a PAD

(There is a house that I pass by every time I take Lola for a walk. It is a gorgeous house)

About 2 weeks ago a friend was lamenting about how I no longer do photo a day. I did 1000 pictures straight and figured that was enough. More than anything, I found the restrictions of photo a day to be limiting and taking away from quality. Simply put - I had a bunch of crappy daily shots. So I stopped. This friend lamented the fact that, while yes there were occasionally crappy shots, there were also really great ones - that the great ones made up for the crappy ones. So she requested I start again. 
I have started again, but now I have found a new problem: time. Monday is FHE, Tuesday is laundry and cleaning; Wednesday is volleyball/game night; Thursday is farmers market night, Friday is swing night; Saturday is activity day and Sunday is church stuff. I don't seem to have the time to post any more. So updating will be hard. but I guess I'll start again until enough people agree that enough is enough.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

you're in my spot

I came home tonight to find this parked on the street where I normally park. I think it just parking there brought the property value of the house way up.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

wedding times

I went to a wedding tonight. I knew neither the bride nor the groom. My roommate wanted to go. The wedding was in Sacramento. My roommates has no car. So I went with him. At the wedding they had little M&Ms with their faces on them and little messages. It made me want to run and hide. Thankfully, I brought along my film camera and was able to take random shots of people. Oh, and at some point my roommate caught the garter.

Friday, July 9, 2010

Posts away!

This was the first picture I was going to post today, but alas, something more "life surrounding" came along.
This may not seem like much, but it very much a huge success. At Amy's house there is a side of their house that has been missing a fence for some time. After successful completion of the bumble bee ramp last January, Amy's parents were excited when Amy and I started talking about fixing the ramp. But then El Nino hit. And it rained and it rained and it rained. Then I was sick, I was sick, I was sick. So FINALLY today we see the posts being concreted in. Furthermore, I convinced Amy's parents that if they really loved me, they would buy a pre-fabricated fence. So I'm going to install a pre-fab fence on Tuesday. I'm so excited this project is finally coming to a close.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

The grove of eucalyptus

Tonight Amy felt well enough to join Lola on our adventure. I took her to another park to go running. There were two other dogs there so I eventually took Lola over to a ballpark and ran her around in the outfield while Amy watched from her chair. Amy's back sprain means she she couldn't play with us, but she watched as a little dog had way more energy than a full grown adult.