Tuesday, March 23, 2010

The Parable of The Lord and The Hot Tub

A woman from J.C. Penney called yesterday and told me that they were having trouble replacing the cushions for the living room set we bought a year and a half ago (and wrote complaining about two months later). Michael kept up with the problem until today when I was told to pick out something new. A truck would come for this stuff. Well that’s exciting and way more than I expected. Unfortunately, it’s still J.C. Penney furniture and I’m not real sure what to choose. I’ve had a lot of friends suggest leather but it’s a risk with the cats. They haven’t destroyed our furniture but we do catch them from time to time sharpening their claws on an end of a sofa. I think I’ve decided on a style that comes with washable slipcovers (if you Google “Linden Street Friday Sofa Group” you can check it out). It’s probably still poorly made but at least I can keep it clean. How’s that for enthusiasm? Well, I didn’t have much of it today after battling this cold sore and learning that my e-mail account’s been hacked. Apparently I’ve been sending strange, probably evil, e-mails to EVERYONE all day.

My cold sore has reached previously unseen proportions. In fact, when I walked in the door tonight, my oldest son looked at me and started freaking out. It really is awful. And yet I still went out tonight. In light of how much this thing hurts and how sleepy I am, I’m a little surprised I did venture out but I knew I’d be glad I did. So I texted Tami, bribed her with M&M cookies (she may have come anyway; just saying), and we headed to Patti’s house for our Ensign group. No, meeting. I think that’s what we call it.

This month we were set to discuss an article in the current issue of the Ensign magazine entitled “Learning through Life’s Trials”. It’s a serious message and we were a bit of a somber group for awhile. Daring to veer off-topic here and there but you know, I think we pretty much stuck to the subject matter. Let me see. Can I distill it? I’ll try.

While wandering through this earthly life, chances are, we’re going to have trials. Things will go badly from time to time. For some it may be all they know. The author, Larry Richman, points out that it’s human nature to want to place blame, either on ourselves or others. He suggested we look at trials as a continuum, with Sin at one end and Adversity on the other. Some bad things may come into our lives as a result of sin. Natural consequences. On the other hand, there are plenty of trials one can experiences that have only to do with being mortal or the choices others have made. The trials that fall somewhere in the middle are difficult to assign blame to and the truth is, blame isn’t useful anyway. What matters is that we take responsibility for what we can and figure out what we can learn one way or the other.

This was actually given as a devotional at BYU-Idaho and he ended his talk with this: “I testify that each of us has the strength to bear each challenge in life because of who we are, who God is, and who we are together”. That love, love, love that.

At one point Patti told us about an experience she had in her hot tub awhile back. She was sitting outside when suddenly and unexpectedly, the jets directly in front of her turned on. She was startled but then decided to turn and face the moon and let those jets remove the tension in her shoulders and back. She told us the jets reminded her of adversity and if we turn to face the Lord and let the adversity strip us of our stuff, if we let it do something for us, teach us something, we’re getting somewhere. The Parable of The Lord and The Hot Tub.

Well, after all that heavy business she broke out the Klondike bars and brownies. We talked and enjoyed each other for a little longer, then left. Or at least we thought that’s what we were doing! As we were walking out Patti decided we needed to try her rice-filled hula hoops she uses for her fitness class at the community center. Me? No, no, no. I only faux-hula on the Wii. And only that once at Berta’s house. As far as you know. But anyway, I tried it, failed miserably, and vowed I might try it again one of these days. Maybe. Tami, on the other hand, well now, she was Fabulous! I’m sure she must have some secret hula life we aren’t aware of.

Well, it was a good night, a late night, and soon it’ll be time to put this cold sore to bed. Keep it’s extinction in your prayers dearhearts.

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