Easter has always been my second favorite holiday. I love the pastel colors, the tulips opening up to the hope of spring, and the colorful candy. Finding Easter eggs was my favorite childhood activity for some strange reason. I would make my mom hide them 2 or 3 times until she was sick of it. The fact that we basically had 2 rooms and a small yard to hide them in, meant that they were usually hidden in the same place too.
In my community, we had a tradition of “rolling Easter eggs” that my kids found out was not a commonly known thing, as they received weird looks when they ventured out in the world. I look back on the pictures of these times with such melancholy, and love in my heart, albeit with a tinge of sadness.
I have always felt a need to capture moments as they happen with the realization that the moment will never be here again. So 27+ scrapbooks later, I am left with precious memorabilia to look through on occasion. I can look at these pictures and really appreciate how precious life is, holding my sadness close but having hope for better days.
To every one who suffers during holidays and every day & those who are apart from the people they love-may you have peace and comfort knowing all will be well, in due time. Even if you don’t know what “well” means.
There is always a greater purpose.
And no- I’m not saying everything happens for a reason. None of some things should EVER happen. God doesn’t want people suffering. He doesn’t “make them suffer”. A lot of it is from free will of someone else or the person suffering.
I believe free will is important for human autonomy and for society in general. But that doesn’t mean others’ choices don’t affect us.
I’m reading a great book on how to deal with others’ choices when they cause you pain. It’s called: Letting Go, Rugged Love For Wayward Souls – how to love and forgive those who have hurt and abandoned you.
I will be putting a few paragraphs from this book into my book because it describes my son perfectly. Specifically this one:
Although I hate the term “Letting Go”, because it implies letting an unwell person flounder around needlessly. But I want to learn how to Love Ruggedly😎💯😎
As I was shopping at a discount and salvage store yesterday, a lady was standing in front of a palate of cardboard boxes as I checked out. She asked if I wanted a case of dinner rolls- for free.
Being Easter weekend (and even had it not been) I said “sure”.
The box had been frozen and was thawing fast. I drove home and proceeded to put my groceries away. When I saw how many ‘dinner rolls’ there were in that case, I quickly called around to see who wanted some. There were no instructions in the box, just a California company. I managed to divide my rolls up and put as many in the freezer as I could. The remainder I placed on cookie sheets to thaw out and bake.
A bit later, I noticed they hadn’t risen at all, so I heated up the oven and put them at 325 degrees. When I started to smell the dough cooking, I checked on them and they were obviously too brown. I tried to save them by scraping off the dark part but they were still dough-ee inside.
My daughter stopped by and since she worked in 2 bakeries as the bread baker, she said to cut a slit in them on the next batch. I turned on my air fryer and decreased the heat, and started my second batch complete with the much-needed slits advice in the top. They too quickly went dark with dough-ee insides.
Finally, after this failure, my husband called from Texas, and after hearing my baking adventures, mentioned that maybe they are scones. Yes! They are scones. Little square scones! It was obvious now. The lady just hadn’t known what these “free gifts” were.
I proceeded to heat up some oil and dropped my newly acquired dough knowledge with confidence into the crackling oil. They quickly turned dark and crusty with dough-ee insides. Obviously the oil was too hot. Next batch was better- a soft golden brown developed on the outside as my mouth watered, thinking of the butter and honey dripping off of them into my mouth.
When they had cooled, I eagerly sliced into the golden brown crust and was hit with more raw dough!
What the heck? How many times was it going to take me to get my reward from my ‘free gift’?
It was then that I realized how long it had been since I cooked scone dough. Years! But my memory was being forced back. After letting them sit outside the freezer for a while, I would take the little clumps and stretch them in all directions, as far as I could without breaking the tender dough, then gently lay them in the warming oil.
The skin would gently turn a light golden brown upon which I would turn them over to finish their lovely cooking into a beautiful display of breaded goodness.
How could I have forgotten?
Over the years my cooking and baking has decreased tremendously, so this seemed the likely excuse. But the more I thought about it, I started to see that I had forgotten my way because I was mistakenly told what my free gift was.
My gift wasn’t “frozen dinner rolls”. My gift was a mixture of soft flour and rich oils and butter and baking powder and a touch of salt, all immersed together, frozen, silently awaiting their chance to be dropped in the hot oil-not unlike the making of steel-just waiting to shine brightly into SCONES!
How often do we forget what our gifts are? How often do we veer away from our truth to chase some version of ourself or a false God who promises things that are too good to be true and end up causing strife and pain, not only to ourselves, but to others.
How often do we feel the ache of a soul abandoned by God? Who was the abandoner? How many times have we unknowingly crushed someone who loves us, because we were hellbent on some sort of personal satisfaction at all costs?
Or maybe someone has or is doing it to you. You feel the ache of who they used to be. You feel that they have forgotten who they are.
They've forgotten their gifts. Their gift to the world. Have you forgotten your gifts too?
Your gifts of love, of compassion. Your strength. How many times have you been told you are strong? But you didn’t feel strong. You felt weak, insignificant; ignored even.
You forgot your gifts. You lost sight of your power.
You were pulled into the pit of pityland where everything is gray, gray, gray.
How to get out? Where do we start looking for our “free gifts?” Our gifts that were lovingly handed to us by a greater power or by the generations of goodness that our ancestors contained of which led to the billions of cells that areYOU!
This video is of the Paralympics where all the runners are blind. They have partners who are tied together at the wrists! I don’t know the whole story but I know this video brought tears to my eyes.
You can find your gifts again. Your gifts are meant to shine. You can be an inspiration to those around you, even when you feel broken. Maybe the way to mend the emptiness and pain inside you, is to be of service to someone else.
“I awoke in the early hours of the morning to the news that the quarter-mile long container ship, the Ever Given, was being freed. It had entered the Suez canal, confident it could traverse the narrow passage, but vision was obscured and it’s bow thrust upon the muddy bank.
For six days, an overpowering suction held it fast. Puny tug boats pulled, to no avail. All human effort was futile. It’s progress seemed permanently blocked, as was that of hundreds of other vessels likewise impeded.
A higher power than man’s was required, and indeed one came to the rescue. A Spring Tide, highest of the year, lifted the ship and broke the bow from the sticky mire. Now the pull of the tug boats can have potent effect, and there is hope.
I recognize an analogy in the progress of our lives. We enter the passage of our years seeking to float to our eternal destiny. Pride and selfishness obscures our view, and sin mires us down. Our unaided efforts are futile to effectuate our escape..
Our Savior’s atoning sacrifice comes to our rescue, if we choose to accept it. Like a rising tide, the blood of His sacrifice lifts our ponderous weight and breaks us free from the quicksand that binds us. We are damned in our progress no more.
Piloted by The Holy Ghost, we continue our path, relying upon the Lord’s redemption through subsequent straits until we come out successfully at the other side.
As we approach Easter this week, we can rely on the hope of Our Savior’s redemption from sin, made possible through the gospel of repentance and forgiveness”.
Whatever your spiritual views; may you receive and accept your own Spring Tide to lift up your mucky vision to unobstructed clarity, that you may see the joy and freedom that redemption brings. 🌸