Have patience, sir

“Waiting can be hard. Children know it, and so do adults. We live in a world offering fast food, instant messaging, on-demand movies, and immediate answers to the most trivial or profound questions. We don’t like to wait.”

We’ve been learning about patience in our family – like studying it. We read those words from President Dieter F Uchtdorf​ and in the same talk learned about an experiment where 4-year-olds were given a marshmallow and if they could wait 15 minutes they could have two. Only 30% could do it.

I decided to try it with my kiddos. I didn’t have marshmallows, but I had peanuts and raisins. Same experiment. Wait 15 minutes and you get double.

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I set a timer on the oven and I did see eyes wander that way often. We continued on with our school lesson though –  about The Comedy of Errors and patience. How the twin brothers did not discover they were in the same town until the end of the play and the purpose Shakespeare had with writing it that way. The kiddos were still sitting at our school table. The peanuts and raisins were right in front of them, but only some chose to stare at them. 

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At one point Caleb wandered away into a different room and stuffed his mouth full of granola. I wondered what was up and he said he was using it to distract his mind from the raisins. Ha! Different techniques for different folks. 😉

The Stanford professor that did the original experiment went on to observe the same children over time. He learned “…those who waited tended to be more positive and better motivated, have higher grades and incomes, and have healthier relationships. What started as a simple experiment with children and marshmallows became a landmark study suggesting that the ability to wait—to be patient—was a key character trait that might predict later success in life.”

My proud mommy moment… ALL of my children did it. Even Ms. Three Year Old made it 15 minutes!!

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0.2 seconds later. 😉

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Not sure whether to be more proud that my children were patient or that they consider peanuts/raisins to be treats. 😉

{ President Uchtdorf’s talk: https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2010/04/continue-in-patience }

Harvesting…

Our garden behaved nicely while we were gone. 

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Hurray for ripe tomatoes, harvested garlic and the first handful of green beans.

Mom Pipes did a fabulous job of watching over the garden while we were gone. So thankful!

In Bloom

Katey brought me a whole cup of dandelions the middle of last month and told me if I watched closely they would bloom into wishing flowers. This week it happened.

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 A little evening glow and Jim Bob blowing wishing fluff off his hand in the background make the photo even more magical.
Makes me ponder …  what weeds in my life given enough time will transform into beauty/wonder/usefulness?

Easter Tidings

Happy Easter from our family!

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Drewby’s drawing: “There is light in the tomb.”

Glad vs. Mad – a lesson to remember

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A list… what do you think all these words are about?

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The answer? Trials. The hard times. The slaps and the crazies and the wearing out the knees of your pants in prayer hard times.

The lesson today was on choosing to find joy and happiness throughout your trials and your life.

D&C 122:7-8 – “…that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good. The Son of Man hath descended below them all. Art thou greater than he?”

Shelly taught the principle so well and discussed Pollyanna’s take… find the good in the hard. These experiences are for us and our growth.

In Sacrament Meeting today one of the bishopric talked about how taking care of a new baby can be challenging. It is a trial. But it is so worth it and we know that. So we’re okay with the sleepless nights and the diapers and the demands. We know it is worth it. Then he asked a question I’ve been thinking about all day – What if we did the same thing with the other trials in our life? What if we figuratively snuggled them up and rocked them? – Knowing they would be for our good.

Same concept – worded differently.

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And a mommy tip. If you have a sleepy little one at church that is just. not. wanting. to. crash. Use the camera on your phone like a mirror – so much fun to watch themselves in motion. And/or snap a quick photo. Your little one will also be entertained to see a current up-to-the-minute photo of themselves on the phone if they are anything like my little one. 😉

And there you have it – joy in even the little trials.

Treasured

Gorgeous October day (the 29th) when we visited the Boise Idaho temple open house – the temple of my youth. :)  I remember saving pennies to help with the initial construction.  Now it’s all renovated and simply beautiful.  I’m so grateful we were able to take our family on the trek to see this wonder-filled building.

Thankful that we can be a forever family.

A little contemplative… Jacob said that he found the Angel Moroni on a gigantic pillar next to the temple quite interesting.  He also said the temple makes him feel happy and warm inside.

Joshua loved the big stained glass window of the Sacred Grove by the baptismal font.  He said with the sun shining through it looked very beautiful and made him feel peaceful.

Autumn loved the beauty of “the room where you be quiet” (celestial room).  She also loved the sealing room where you can see the mirrors “go back and forth, on & on”.  She has never seen mirrors placed like that before and loved it.

Andrew liked the baptism room too.  He said you “go into a big circle of water and underneath there are ox.  12 of them!” He said said he felt warm and happy – “just like Jacob”.

Miss Katey loved the Bride’s Room where the ladies get ready on their wedding day.  She also loved the crystal chandeliers.  While touring she said “it’s sparkling everyday.  Sparkles forever!”

Caleb loved the “baptism water with cows” (one way to describe it…).  He says the temple made him feel good. “Yeah – feel good.”

Meri – well, she loved all the lights inside the temple.  She also loved the big, beautiful windows and tried to reach every sparkly chandelier.

Jim Bob loved that they took an already beautiful temple and made it even more beautiful. “Perfection even. There is nothing lacking in construction or design.” He also loved the awe of our children – He said his very favorite part was watching their “big bug eyes and wide gaping mouths taking it all in and not believing the beauty of the temple.”

Me – The temple was absolutely gorgeous – dark wood and beauty all around. I also loved the beauty of the people there the day we toured the temple. Everyone was full of smiles and willing to help. From the men directing traffic to the people putting on protective footwear to the ladies passing out candies on temple napkins to the piano players in the adjacent church – everyone was so friendly and genuinely happy to be there. I especially enjoyed the faith building stories of our tour guides.

“The evening before the rededication (last night), President Monson told a group of 9,200 young people, gathered for the youth cultural celebration, that the temple “shines as a beacon of righteousness to all who will follow its light.”

“We treasure that light, and we thank our Heavenly Father for the blessings this temple and all temples bring into our lives,” he said.”

We rejoice in the blessings of the temple!

Seeking Virtue

Birthday time for me is a time of reflection (well, and a little celebration)  :).  It’s perfect that my birthday falls half-way through the year.  I like to take a few moments to see how my beginning of the year goals are going.  While visiting the Church Art Museum last year this quilt spoke to my heart:

My current scripture study is about treasure.  I decided this quilt is the perfect treasure map for me here and now.

The title is “Angel’s Portion:  Seeking Virtue”.  Angel’s Portion meaning big – this quilt is beautiful and pulls me right in.  The story quilt shows seven ladies – “each shown in an active pursuit of virtue”.  I love the “active pursuit” part.  It takes effort to become more virtuous and to seek after virtuous things – ideas, talents, and gifts.  True treasures.

A tender mercy is the fact that this quilt is in the Ensign for June – my birthday month and a perfect reminder to check in.  {front view of the quilt | full article in the Ensign}

In the article it says “Each of these women possesses a trait that can be shared with others to bless humanity:  sentinel, scholar, gardener, nurturer, caregiver, musician, and home builder. The artist explains that these women “honor those who pursue and use talents to bless humanity.'”  Is there any better way to live?

Here is a list of the goals I’m working on in these areas:

  • Sentinel –  Work on leadership qualities:  magnify calling, love those I serve, pray for those I teach and visit.
  • Scholar – Learn more about Teaching Self Government – and apply in my home.  Study photography.
  • Gardener – Help with the Heritage Gardens.  Grow a garden – especially herbs.
  • Nurturer – Tell stories!  Especially family history ones and stories from my childhood.  Consistant interviews with my children.  Pizza dough tossing and doodling/sketching skills.
  • Caregiver –  Monthly FHE service.  Look for opportunities.
  • Musician –  Teach children piano, guitar, drums – what each is interested in and keep up and learn musical talents in those areas.  Also accept opportunities as presented to play flute and sing.
  • Home Builder – Hang family photos and temple pictures throughout our home.  Paint living room and dining room.  Proverbs 14:1  ” Every wise woman buildeth her house.” (A lot of the previous goals fit into building our home.)

Some are coming together better than others – all with room to improve.

I want my goals to focus on seeking virtue and using skills to love and bless my family.  I’m thankful for a quote that jumped out to me while reading President Monson’s talk from General Conference.  It wraps my thoughts into a nice package.  A birthday package even.  “There are feet to steady, hands to grasp, minds to encourage, hearts to inspire, and souls to save.”

Fortune, pt. 3: Might and Mite

{Third in a series about Fortune.  Part 1 & 2 found here and here.}

While studying effort last year I came upon D&C 117:12-13.  In there it talks about Oliver Granger and how “when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase, saith the Lord.”  I did not recall this story about Granger and struck out to find more.  I found the original revelation here, written with Joseph’s hand.  Beautiful.

In a talk by President Hunter he references this church history story.  Oliver Granger was a licensed Methodist preacher and a sheriff in Ontario County, New York.

“Oliver Granger was 11 years older than Joseph Smith and, like the Prophet, was from upstate New York. Because of severe cold and exposure when he was 33 years old, Oliver lost much of his eyesight. Notwithstanding his limited vision, he served three full-time missions. He also worked on the Kirtland Temple and served on the Kirtland High Council.

When most of the Saints were driven from Kirtland, Ohio, the Church left some debts unsatisfied. Oliver was appointed to represent Joseph Smith and the First Presidency to return to Kirtland to settle the Church’s business. He performed this assignment so well that one of the creditors wrote: “Oliver Granger’s management in the arrangement of the unfinished business of people that have moved to the Far West, in redeeming their pledges and thereby sustaining their integrity, … has entitled him to my highest esteem” (Horace Kingsbury, Painesville, 26 Oct. 1838).”

Although Granger was able to sell some land and pay off debts, he was unable to sell a lot of the church’s property and most of it did eventually go to people that would never pay the church.  I find it interesting that the scripture reads “when he falls he shall rise again.”  Not an if, when.  The Lord knew what Granger was up against, but wanted him to give it his all.

“When Oliver Granger died in 1841, even though there were but few Saints remaining in the Kirtland area and even fewer friends of the Saints, Oliver Granger’s funeral was attended by a vast concourse of people.  (President Howard W. Hunter, New Era, September 1991)

While studying Granger I found an article by John S. Tanner, “On Sacrifice and Success”  (adapted from his humanities convocation address given on April 25, 2003).  {More on Tanner in part 2.}

“In section 117 the Lord called Oliver Granger to return to Kirtland as “a merchant unto my name” to “contend earnestly for the redemption of the First Presidency of my Church”—adding, “And when he falls he shall rise again, for his sacrifice shall be more sacred unto me than his increase” (emphasis added). There is a powerful gospel lesson here about the Lord’s bottom line—for his merchant and for us all.

…in celestial accounting—as the Lord tells Oliver Granger—heaven measures its merchant missionary not by “his increase” but “his sacrifice.” The Lord evidently cares more about Oliver’s effort than his results, more about his input than output, more about how much he gives than how much he gains. I believe that these divine priorities hold true for all of us…

Surely a culture’s obsession with success is bound up with its dynamism and energy. Great ambition can spur great accomplishment. I’m not opposed to ambition, achievement, or success. Indeed, like most people, I enjoy prosperity and fame, probably more than I ought. And I certainly would prefer to succeed than to fail—though failure sometimes has been better for me than success. My concern lies not with success, per se, but with the lust for success. Hence, I’m not concerned simply or mainly about the desire for wealth but about the desperate need to win. …success turns into a demon whenever it becomes our god.

So while I hope you succeed in your righteous desires, I also hope you won’t measure yourself exclusively by your successes and failures. God’s words to Oliver Granger remind us that we are more than our résumés, GPAs, salaries, and scholarships. What endears us to heaven is our sincere sacrifice; our sincere efforts to love God and our neighbor are sacred. The Almighty does not require success, but he does require sacrifice.

This doctrine is simultaneously comforting and frightening: the Lord mercifully accepts our sacrifice when we lay our all on the altar, but nothing less than our all is acceptable. For him, the widow’s mite means more than the millionaire’s munificence precisely because she gave her all (Mark 12:44).

So far as I know, no scripture specifies that we must be successful, in the modern sense, to inherit salvation. However, the scriptures repeatedly command us to sacrifice—to serve God with our heart, might, mind, and strength (see D&C 4:2). Our fundamental religious duty is to strive, not to succeed—recognizing that the outcome is in God’s hands. As T. S. Eliot says in the poem “East Coker,” “For us, there is only the trying. The rest is not our business.”

Our concern should be “…for righteousness, not its results”.

“If we fail, having tried with all our might, the Lord takes the intent for the deed because, in his economy, sacrifice is more sacred than success.  …our profitability to heaven consists in the ancient sacrifice of a willing heart. The Lord does not need “man’s work”; he needs our will.

…heaven bids us fight but not necessarily win—at least not in the short term. The ultimate victory is sure; it is in the hands of the Lord of Hosts. What is at stake is not the outcome of the war but our faithfulness in battle.”  …Remember that he who looks not on the countenance but on the heart (1 Sam. 16:7) sees beyond your résumé. He sees your soul. He knows your sacrifices, and they are sacred to him.  (Tanner)

Though Oliver Granger is not as well known today as other early leaders of the Church, he was, nevertheless, important in the service he rendered to the kingdom. And of course, if no one but the Lord had his name in remembrance, that would be a sufficient blessing for any of us.”  (President Howard W. Hunter, New Era, September 1991)

So with all these thoughts in my head, they finally came around full circle.  John Tanner gave his all to the church.  And it was a lot of all.  He sacrificed.  Many of the investments did not pan out.  The Kirtland Temple he helped save?  It is no longer owned by the church.  (Although many, many blessings were given while it was.)  The Kirtland Security Society?  Failed.  The donations and sacrifices were given, but in the world’s terms – they did not translate to success.  Was that a good trade for millions?  How does the Lord feel about it?  “Sacrifices are more sacred” unto him than the “increase”.  And again, I learn more about fortune and success.  Effort is what matters.  Giving our all.

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“Sacrifice outweighs increase on the scales of heaven—which are the only scales that ultimately matter.” – John S. Tanner

Dreamy Me

I had a dream this afternoon.

There was an academic competition at the high school I went to growing up. I was high school age again and all about competing. Right before the competition I was gathering up my children to come watch. The last one was on the roof of the school. As I was up there I noticed a young man in peril. There was a super-sonic jet about to take off to carry him and his broken camera to a repair shop. I helped him get on the platform when the whole surrounding area was taken up into the jet – me included.

The ride to the shop was crazy fast… and fun. Just a quick stop there to drop off the camera and the young man – the rest of us didn’t even get out. The ride back was even more fast. At one point the pilot told us to raise our hands to the ceiling. He dove down and landed on the school roof. It was exhilarating.

I hopped out of that machine and ran down to the gym for the competition. I got there just in time to run up to the microphone, wait for the last person before me to introduce himself and then take my turn. I said, with all sorts of confidence, “My name is Becky Pipes. I am from Shoshone High School and we are here to win. Bring it!”

Then I woke up.

I would love an interpretation of my dream. For now I know two things:

1. My identity of here and now is pretty strong. My age reverted, but I was still married with children. Groovy.

2. I would definitely ride in a super-sonic jet if my camera needed to be fixed.

Title goes here. ;)

These photos make me laugh and shake my head just a little.

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That would be our girl Autumn up in her grandma’s tree on a fine spring Sunday.

Making her way down…

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Legs up…

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and… poof goes the dress.

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The main reason we stay in Sunday dress on the Sabbath is so that our little ones are reminded of what a special, unique day it is. I just didn’t anticipate how much can be done in Sunday clothes.

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