Beating the Odds

Sometimes beating the odds is simply a matter of chance.  Roll the dice enough times, win the lottery, whatever.  More often than not, I think Divine Intervention and personal effort can affect outcomes.  Today I want to recognize all the couples who beat the odds by remaining married through:

  • chronic illness or pain
  • a child with a chronic illness
  • the loss of a child
  • mental illness
  • financial changes or bankruptcy
  • different cultural backgrounds
  • alcoholism or substance abuse

These stresses, and others, decrease the odds of a successful marriage, so if you have experienced any of these roadblocks and find that both partners have worked through things sufficiently that you are happily married to any degree, count it as a miracle.

Open Hearts

In my church we take time each month to visit individuals.  It is an attempt to not forget the lost sheep.  As we visited yesterday and shared the message that the Lord does not forget anyone, two of the sisters I visit opened right up.  Both were sisters I have been visiting with for a while now, and both are less than fully active in our faith.  As we started to share, each one of the sisters felt a connection to that lost sheep, and after months, and even years for one of them, of my visiting monthly they actually shared with me the root of their own personal struggles to full participation in the gospel of Christ.  Each struggle is unique, and each of us has our own personal demons.

I don’t know how to fix either problem.  I rather suspect that it is not my goal to fix the problem, but rather my privilege to support them through it.  One of them I share the same struggle, I just have chosen to deal with it differently.  However, I think step one in helping anyone change their heart is to love them as the Savior does.  I hope that by having someone to support them through it that each one of these daughters of God can have a miracle in their life of being reconverted to Christ.

Heart

I was up bright and early this morning to go with my son to his EKG.  It is not every morning you get to peer into a live heart.  Rather cool actually.  It sort of reminded me of when I would hear my unborn baby’s heartbeat for the first time.  It is simply a magical experience.  Grown up hearts are quite different, but still amazing.  It looks like a rather skittish thing actually, but it just goes and goes and goes.  The day it stops, everything else stops with it.  Talk about something that knows how to endure to the end. 🙂

 

Expecting Miracles

Yesterday we watched parts of the Rootstech conference.  One statistic I had actually heard before, but they reviewed it.  I realized they are expecting the impossible, and expecting a miracle, – step one to receiving one.

Indexing is the process of making collected records searchable via computer.  Indexing has revolutionized family history work, and billions of records are now available with the click of a button.  However, we have so many records to index, it is a nearly impossible project.  At current rates, to index just the records that the LDS church has already collected will take 300 years.  Wow.  That does not include records not yet collected, nor any records from Africa or most of Asia.  That said, their goal is to get everything indexed within 20-30 years.  I have no doubt that they can reach their goal.  They are on a mission, they are pursuing a good work, and they are actively working on solutions.  They expect to do their part and they also expect God to do his part.  Even if they reach their goal, there will be many more records to work on, but what a great example of expecting a miracle!

 

Encouragement

Sometimes I feel like I am helpless to combat all of the problems going on around me.  A personal goal I have is to not be helpless.  I have an acquaintance who is much older than me and going through a tough time with health problems.  I didn’t know what to do to help and encourage him, so I prayed about it.   After receiving an answer of a small thing that I could do, I simply wrote a quick note of support and encouragement.  Men, and especially older men, don’t ever like to show that they need support or help.  I figured it wouldn’t hurt, but if it helped a little than I did something.  Then yesterday, he shared just a small little positive thing in his life, and I realized that my quick note of encouragement was directly related.  Maybe I did a small something to lighten his load?  It may not have been much, but if it touched him, I was not powerless to help out.  Who can you encourage today?

Prayer and Fasting

We held a family fast this last Sunday for my son.  He has finally shown the first signs of being ready to make some long overdue changes.  The morning after we had fasted for him he shows up bright and early at our home to help his dad with something.  That in and of itself could have been its own miracle as his sleep habits are wildly out of control and he has not felt a desire to help anyone with anything for at least a year.  Miracle number two, he was smiling from ear to ear.  Smiles are good.  Again, he went at least a year, probably more without ever smiling.  When I commented on the smile and downright cheerful attitude he just smiled back and told me he was having a great day.  At 8 am he was having a great day?  Unless I had seen it with my own eyes I wouldn’t have believed that one.  I asked him  if there was any particular reason he was happy, he told me he wasn’t quite ready to share or talk about it yet.  (Now that was simply reassurance I really was talking to the same kid)  He did tell me that he had spent a lot of contemplative thinking time the day before, and is simply very happy about some of the things he was thinking about.

We never told him he was in many, many people’s prayers and fasts that day.  It seems to be working, however.

Healing of Minds

My daughter has been on her new medication for over a month now.  It is wonderful to report that she is doing well.  I feel so blessed that she is responding so positively to the first medication she has tried.  I would say she is a new person, but she is actually just closer to being herself.  When I ask the doctors about her treatment they can give some basic answers like there are some chemicals that are over or under produced, and there are synapses connections that are over active or under active, that need blocking or rerouting.  When you really get down to it though, despite some basic principles, our brains are so complex we really do NOT understand how all the medications work.  We have no idea what “normal” levels of any of the brain chemicals are.  I am amazed that life altering treatments are available when we don’t even completely understand what we are working with.

Chairs

I recently inherited a dining room set from my grandmother.  As the set was pulled out of storage, it showed signs of wear and tear, but was structurally in good shape.  One of the things that needed to be replaced were the seat covers.  My poor aunt was embarrassed about the condition of the seat covers and offered to buy some fabric.  Instead I told her we could just wait until I got the entire set transported.  (I live 4 hours away.)  As the last load was being delivered I decided to go through a box of odds and ends fabric that I had picked up at a yard sale a few months back.  In all the scraps were some squares of neutral colored upholstery fabric.  As I pulled them out, someone had cut them into squares that looked about the right size for the seats I was getting.  I decided to do a test square.  It fits exactly.  I have all the fabric I need, pre-cut, ready to go.  It took me about 15 minutes to do the entire first chair.  And yes, there is just enough fabric for the entire set.