Saturday, March 20, 2010
Growing up my father would sometimes walk into the living room where my siblings and I would be watching TV or playing a game or whatever and proceed to tell us what we had for lunch.
"How did you know?" we would ask.
"You left behind evidence and that's how criminals get caught" This was his subtle way of letting us know we didn't properly clean up behind ourselves. It was a great teaching tool. I'm not saying it worked with us all the time. I'm not even saying it worked with us MOST of the time. But I have put that theory to use in many other applications outside the home. That and never returning to the scene has made me the master prankster I am today :)
I wonder if my father's phrase "you left behind evidence and that's how criminals get caught" is what gives me my investigative mind. My first line of thinking is outside of the box. I have to be brought INTO the box normally to be on the same age as everyone else. It's kind of strange. When most people are changing the Paradigm, I'm already groovin to that "para-digum." Ya dig what I'm saying I think.
I got to thinking today that leaving evidence is not all bad. I have a friend who was an evidence professor at BYU Law school. The only one of my friends who I wouldn't mess with cuz she really does know how to hide the bodies and leave no evidence. I may be a little crazy myself but I know what friends to pick. She also happens to be the Relief Society President for the LDS Genesis Group. You want to keep people with that kind of Heavenly AND Earthly clout around and happy.
(No,that's NOT why I treated her and my sister to breakfast this morning either.)
I posted a question to the masses earlier today:
"At some point we will have have to stand before the Lord and take accountability for our lives: The Good, Bad and the Ugly. How do you want stand before him?"
I fully expect the typical Mormon Textbook answers: Thankful, Humble, intimidated, full of love,repentant... blah.. blah... blah! Don't get me wrong, those are all great "stay inside the box" answers and we all need to be having some of that when do come before the Lord.
I guess I'm a little bit different as I envision myself in front of the Lord.
I picture myself as a child having come in from playing:
Hair in a messed up pony tail with leaves or pieces of grass in it, overalls ripped at the knee and probably a skinned knee as well.
(yes this is really me last spring...)
Muddy Pioneer feet from running out in the rain w/o shoes because someone called for help, smudges on my face and t-shirt, hands calloused and rough. Looking as if I've had a hard day of chasing butterflies and making mud pies and helping my best friend put the chain on their bike.
I think of the different places I've been and the things I've done there:
Pinegar Apartments in Provo UT: when my daughter was 5 she was experimenting and decided to save her water melon seeds and plant them. It worked. A couple months later the whole apartment complex was enjoying water melon. It was such a great thing that the managers of the apartments ripped out the bushes in front and now each year plants Zucchini for the tenants to enjoy. These apartments were filled with single parents and newly weds and older couples with struggling incomes who now have 1 more source of having a few more meals they don't need to worry about.
Herriman, UT: My sister, daughter and I ran across 2 lonely grave sites with concrete slabs that simply read: "Indian woman" and "Afro-American Woman." 2 lone souls buried side by side, no name, no birth date, no family recognition. We decided to adopt them, decorate their sites. We gave them names and birth dates. So they no longer are two lonely graves next to each other.
I have a friend buried in the Preston Idaho cemetery. HE WAS AN AMAZING MAN. Once a year we try to go up, light a candle, make sure his resting place is in order and just hang out and remember how much fun we had with him.
Went on a cruise with some folks a 3 day Baja Mexico Cruise and we stopped in Ensenada. They have the typical souvenir that people are selling off the streets. There was a young woman painting gorgeous little scenery on small silver plated platters for about $5. She did it all by hand and it took her all of about 5 minutes. You giver her the name of a person and she personalized it.
"To_________ with love from Ensenada Mexico." I decided to purchase one. I watched her work speedily to create the scene and she turned to me and in broken English asked "who name you would like?" I told her to put her own name. She looked at me confused... " who would you like this to be for, whose name to give to?"
I said to her " I'm buying this for me. And since you are the artist, and you created it, I want YOUR name on it so I can remember who you are."
The look of shock on her face was priceless. "really?" she said. "I have never put my name on it, Oh I am so happy." And she began to have tears stream down her cheek as she autographed her beautiful artwork. She gave me my platter, wiped her eyes and then gave me a hug and said "Thank you,I really thank you!" and turned and went back to the line waiting for her.
Kailua, Hawaii where one of my best friends live. She's been raving to her family for years about my homemade macaroni and cheese. She flew me out to Hawaii for her wedding, and asked me to give a short story on how I introduced her to the man who is now her husband. For Sunday dinner Her mom (who made sure I had a cheese omelet and a flower for my hair everyday I was there)asked me to show her how to make this southern recipe she's been hearing about for 15 years. I made it for her so she could see how it was done and that's what we had for family dinner my last night in Hawaii. Her family was so touched by our friendship over the last 15 years. I left my heart In Kailua, Hawaii
Morristown, New Jersey: I went out east for a while. I remember the first time I went to church there and introduced myself. A Handsome young man stopped me as soon as he heard my name, came up to me and gave me a BIG HUG. I didn't complain but was very curious as to who he was and why his arms were around me and what the name of that cologne was he was wearing. (Polo...late 80's you know. ;) He told me he hand heard all about how much fun my family was and how we fed the missionaries every Thursday night and how I had the best Lasagna is best friend had ever had. His best friend was one of those missionaries we fed every Thursday night and being in that area on his best friends mission was the favorite time of that young man's mission.
Battle Creek, MI: I played softball in high school and loved it. One of the people I liked to hang out with the most was a white girl whose father didn't like black people. That didn't stop us from rolling. She and I were both on the softball team together. Often after the games he would tell me I played a great game and say how his daughter and I made a great team. He was always kind and very complimentary to me. One day my friend told me.. "you know, my dad doesn't like black people, but he loves you!" I never knew he didn't like black folks until she told me.
I guess I bring up these certain instances because when I leave this world, I want their to be evidence that I was here! I want to leave my footprints and finger prints and heart prints ALL OVER THE PLACE! I want to leave a trail of love and kindness and beauty behind.
I want there to be evidence that I was here and that I did some good:
I want the Lord to be able to look at South Carolina and say
"yeah, Karyn was here...I can tell by the way Susan is cooking up that Creamy Chicken Wild Rice Soup that she's been talking to Karyn."
I want him to look at Long Beach California and say: "WOW, She impacted Julie in that youth fireside, she's picked up her scriptures for the first time in a year..."
I want him to see where I hiked the Grand Wash and Camped at Bryce Canyon in southern Utah
and swam in Bear Lake in Garden City. I want him to know I ran through his canyons and played capture the flag and Jumped off the dock and into Payson lakes and Canoed down the Battle Creek River.
I also want him to know I stood in awe watching gorgeous Sunsets in Park City Utah and wrote my name in the sand on the North Shore in Hawaii and marveled at the beauty and power of the ocean.
I want him to know I built bonfires and sang camp songs at Camp Kitanniwa. And put on crazy hats while walking the isle at the store and made people (including myself) Laugh and smile.
I plan on leaving as much evidence as I can that I was here and I enjoyed the gifts and talents the Lord blessed me with and also enjoyed this beautiful earth he created for us. Sorry Daddy, but I fully intend on leaving behind all kinds of evidence.
There's a quote on this blog by Sister Marjory Pay Hinckley that summarized beautifully how I would like to be presented to the Lord:
“I don’t want to drive up to the pearly gates in a shiny sports car, wearing beautifully tailored clothes, my hair expertly coiffed, and with long, perfectly manicured fingernails. I want to drive up in a station wagon that has mud on the wheels from taking kids to scout camp. I want to be there with grass stains on my shoes from mowing Sister Schenk’s lawn. I want to be there with a smudge of peanut butter on my shirt from making sandwiches for a sick neighbor’s children. I want to be there with a little dirt under my fingernails from helping to weed someone’s garden. I want to be there with children’s sticky kisses on my cheeks and the tears of a friend on my shoulder. I want the Lord to know I was really here and that I really lived"
When I get to the other side, I'm going to be holding out my thumb hitch hiking, hoping that Sister Marjorie Picks me up on her way in so we can roll in together.
*LEAVE SOME EVIDENCE*
Wednesday, March 10, 2010
I was talking with my sista the other day.... Sista Beehive from the Sista's in Zion blog. And we got to talking about talking to God.
I have often heard from my friends who are down and out, depressed, off the straight and narrow, or whatever other undeserving feelings they might be dealing with day
"I can't pray, I don't deserve to pray!" It floors me that they think that way. I can't decide if it's pride talking or stupidity: "I dont deserve to pray.". I've been searching all my scriptures for that phrase that says... "I am the Lord your God! When you are in the deepest darkest places... DO NOT speak to me, you don't deserve it." I haven't found it yet. We ALWAYS have the right to pray. We have an obligation as his children to check in. Not just at meal time, on Sundays or times of trouble either. We are Heaven's Children so it stands to reason we need Heaven's help.
So why is it that when we are in the depths of dispair and need the Lord the most we turn our backs on him and try to dig ourselves out? If we could dig ourselves out would we be SO FAR in in the first place? There is no standard of worthiness to Speak to the Lord or pray. He does reserve the right to bless us and adminster to him as he sees fit. Maybe that's the key? Rejection. If we pray and dont' get what we want we tend to make excuses: The heavens are closed. He doesn't answer prayers. There is no God. I can't even fathem thinking the last one.
We often misunderstand that just because we call ourselves Christian that we should automatically receive the desires of our heart. We also misinterpret this to mean that the Lords is going to give us what we want, when we want it and on our terms. Do you know anyone like that? They often are waiting for jobs, houses, relationships to "fall in their lap" Just how THEY WANT and when it doesn't happen say... It's not of God. I can remember that kind of thinking about 20 years ago. Until I realized the REAL meaning of Psalm 37:4, "Delight yourself in the Lord and he will grant you the desires of your heart."
I had to come to grips with reality. In order for me to be delighted in the Lord I had to trust in him and his plan and fuse my will with his. I had to have on of them "come to Jesus" meetings with myself. You know the kind where you figure out that you need to leave your will behind and jump on board with his will.
Think of it like a Sail boat: You're on vacation on your sail boat is in the middle of the ocean or lake going slow or going nowhere.
The Lord just sailed on by at a steady speed.
You call out to him... "Hey Lord, how's it going?"
"Absolutely wonderful Child, how's it going with you?"
"well, not so great, Lord."
"No? Well why not?"
"Well, Lord, I want my boat to sail as awesomely as yours and it's just going very slowly and sometimes not at all."
"Is that right child?"
"Yeah, so.. well... Lord, I was wondering... Can you make my boat sail like yours."
"Hhmmm! I have a better Idea, why don't you jump on my boat and sail with me! I have plenty of room and we're having are really great time!"
"Well, Lord, I kinda of want THIS boat to sail. See I just put in a lot of money, time and effort in it so I can get it to sail..."
"I see. Well, are you sure you don't want to hop onboard? I have an awesome Chef down stairs cookin up some shrimp and chicken.You can have your own state room. And we're having this amazing triple layer peppermint torte cake for dessert. We'd love to have you on board, you can stay with me as long as you want!"
"Well, Lord. That does sound great. But I still wanna stay with my boat. I just need a little wind to make it sail.."
"you're sure then?" Says the Lord.
"yeah, I just think I'll be happier this way" We say.
"Well, ok... child. here's a little wind to get you started on your way."
"Thank you Lord, I appreciate it."
And off you go oblivious to the fact that your sail started to tear a week ago, there's a slow leak under the seat getting worse that you don't even know about AND your rudder is about to fall apart from internal water damage because you never sealed the outter cracks from when you grounded it 2 summers ago. Continueing on your course is giving you complete joy and satisfaction now and temporarily. You've extended your sailing trip another 2 weeks!
He gave you what you wanted and how you wanted it even though before hand he offered to you what you NEEDED. What you ULTIMATELY would have been happier with.
Delighting in in the Lord, it's not just praising him and going to Sunday services and sharing/preaching the word. We have a desire gain enough faith to match our will with his and in doing so our desires become righteous and grantable.
Most times we're trying to get the Lord to change HIS will to ours. So busy wanting to be "The Boss."
Back on the subject of feeling too unworthy to pray, it is Lucifer who teaches us these kinds of things. "you are too messed up to pray, he won't listen to you." "too far gone." "you have no right to speak to him after all you've done."
Well guess what? The Devil is a Liar. If Lucifer has the bold audacity to speak with him, what makes you think you cant?
Seriously, even the Devil spoke to God AND Jesus Christ AND he believes in them both. And if the Devil can approach them and talk to them then I know I can FO SHO speak with them.
So the next time, for whatever reason, you feel too unworthy, lost, tired, afraid and ashamed to pray, remember it is just not so. This is one time you can say... If the devil can do it, SO CAN I!
Thursday, March 4, 2010
"I've talked and given many talks to young adults and their parents about the different in kids today and how it relates to when I was a kid.
Each generation claims it's one style of parenting and discipline. While my grandparents ways have become outdated and old fashioned and
parents today have come somewhat new aged and liberal. Is it fair to say one style of parenting and disciplining as a whole is better than another style?
One might look at the word back in the day, and then look at it today wonder. Realistically subjects of all generations line the walls or prison. There are perpetrators in our schools, work places and churches of all ages. Children brought up in the same home with the same parents flourish AND fail. Even the most perfect of parents has lost children to the world. And some of those lost worldly children have found themselves. Some never will. Some were never lost.
I would be one of those who become lost from time to time. Sometimes I still have lost moments. What helps me is being a drag queen.
That's right I said " I AM A DRAG QUEEN. No offense to those who choose this as a profession or way of life, props to ya!
I was a different sort of a Drag Queen.
I was dragged to church on Sundays and during the week for various other activities. I was dragged to family gatherings even if there was family feuding and kissing Aunts and stuck up cousins.
I was dragged by the ear when back talking or being disrespectful to my elders. I was dragged to the "woodshed" when I told lies, got bad grades, disobeyed, shoplifted and disrupted class, then dragged back to the store, or to the teacher to apologize for such behavior.
I was dragged to the bathroom to suck on a bar of soap when profanity slipped out. I was dragged outside to "police" the yard by pulling weeds, picking up trash, cutting the grass and raking leaves, then dragged to various other places in the neighborhood or community to help the old, sick, poor, lonely and other who could benefit from my free time and good will. Had I taken money for this service I would have been dragged back to the "woodshed."
As children we rarely appreciate our parents efforts in trying to prepare us for the world. And teenagers we Definitely don't appreciate it and as a community we ignore the underlying problems of those who aren't fortunate to have parents who aren't able to or don't prepare them for whatever reason.
There was no guarantee that me, being a drag queen, was goin to solidify my place as a golden law abiding citizen in my community. At some point, knowing and recognizing right from wrong became an adult decision I had to make. Being a drag queen definetley helped. There were times when the queen layed dormant within me and other times when "The Queen" came out like a stark raving lunatic. I'm grateful for those experiences provided by my parents to give me the option of having the battles between my mind and "The Queen" to decide what kind of citizen I will be."