Just thinking about my mom . . .

My mother-in-law told me once that 'October babies are melancholy babies'. I don't know if it's the touch of fall in the air, my approaching birthday or just plain old 'melancholy' but I do know that some days the longing for one more day with my mom is more intense than others. I had the blessing of being raised by 'a mother who knew' that her role had eternal impact and who expressed an unfailing love of the Savior.

I love this picture of my mom & nephew. It captures the love she has of family. I miss her terribly and I am grateful for the blessing it is to be her daughter.

When God thought of mother,
he must have laughed with satisfaction and framed it quickly ---
so rich, so deep, so divine,
so full of soul, power, and beauty was the conception.
- Henry Ward Beecher -


Fancy Nancy's Flock for Nie

In an effort to add to the Nie Recovery Fund, I am offering two of Fancy Nancy's Flock - Glenn & Milton - for sale. Glenn and Milton are fine rooster pincushions and I could picture either one sitting next to Stephanie's sewing machine. Their combs, waddles and feet are hand beaded and they are weighted so that they can sit securely on any surface. The fried egg fabric will make you smile every time you walk by them. Glenn and Milton are 5 inches tall and about five inches long. Each rooster is $25 plus $5 for shipping. The price includes a pair of scissors and a dozen 'flower' pins. The other wing pocket can be used to store a spool of thread. I will donate 100% of the money to the Nie Recovery Fund. If you are interested, please contact me at errandofangels@gmail.com.


Angels Don't Have Wings!

First, a sincere apology to Susie for using this picture. We were 'late bloomers' (a bit of an understatement!).

Susie was my best friend growing up. All of my important dolls were named Susie or Susan and I absolutely planned on naming my first daughter (and possibly more) Susan. *Second apology - my daughters are named Elizabeth and Vanessa - sorry Susie.*

One day Susie gave a talk in Primary o
r Junior Sunday School (I can't remember which one). Her mom, Mrs. Fugal, was highly organized (especially for a mother of 12) and so, of course, Susie had a gospel picture for a visual aid. As I looked closely at the picture I was horrified to find that someone had neatly scribbled with BLUE MAGIC MARKER (I still love the smell of Magic Markers) all over the angel's wings until they were completely covered. I couldn't believe that this had happened on Mrs. Fugal's watch! I must say, that whoever had had hold of the marker had done a really nice job of covering all of the wings and even tried to blend them into the night sky.

Surely Susie wasn't going to use this damage
d and altered picture in her talk. She even seemed proud of her picture. Finally, when I could stand it no longer I said, "Susie, you can't use that picture. It's been scribbled on."

Susie turned to me and with a very 'teacher-like' voice (and with some exasperation and 'I can't believe you don't know this') said . . .


Mrs. Fugal had colored in the angels wings so that the angel would be 'up to gospel code'. Who knew? I surely didn't at that ripe young Primary age. So there you have it . . . angels don't have wings BUT in my life's experience I have learned that they do have . . .

willing hearts to take in and love a sister's family as she heals in a hospital,
listening ears that patiently listen to a broken heart and a mother's grief,
gentle hands to hold a fussy baby so that a young mother can try to remember what it feels like to not have someone attached to them 24/7,
steady feet to rush to the aid of a neighbor as the sirens get closer and closer,
wisdom to share that gives much needed perspective when you're so close to glass you have no idea if anything is in it, let alone if it's half empty/half full,
hearty laughter that brings tears to your eyes as you share the quirks that make up this life,
advice grounded in the gospel of Jesus Christ that reminds us why we're really here,
hope that 'this too will pass',
tears as they share your burden and comfort your soul,
food when you just can't think of being responsible for 'one more thing'!,
time (the most precious and fleeting of all gifts) to spend on you,
inspiration to know just when you need that call or that hug or that note and when to speak and when to just listen
and so many other things.

You're right, Mrs. Fugal, angels don't have wings - they don't need them!


Lessons from the Raspberry Patch

I grew up on a fruit farm in Utah. Along with peaches, pears, apples and cherries, we had a raspberry patch in the middle of the orchard. While the boys picked cherries, the girls picked raspberries - my dad quickly found out that a mixed work force on any one crop accomplished a lot less picking and a lot more goofing around than a segregated group assigned to different crops. And so it was my lot to pick raspberries every other morning starting at 5 a.m.

My dad
would get up every morning, wake up very grumpy and uncooperative children, work in the orchard until about 7:30 a.m., shower, go to work at Geneva Steel for eight hours, return home and eat dinner, go back out to the orchard until dark (unless he had church meetings to attend to), get ready for bed and prepare to start all over again the next day. My dad and mom worked very hard to provide a safe and secure life for the seven children in my family. Of course, as a child all you can see is that you are 'burdened' with the task of picking raspberries.

Picking raspberries is a labor intensive job that requires you to search out only the ripe berries, carefully pick them without smushing them and then place them carefully in your bucket. Sometimes you had to flick off a stink bug or grasshopper before you placed the berry in your bucket. Your job was to search high and low for those perfectly ripe berries - not a easy task early in the morning when you would rather be in bed. Our buckets were used, empty paint cans with old men's ties attached to the handles so we could tie them around our waists. It seemed to take thousands of berries to make a case - a case that we were paid $1 for picking.

One morning
my dad stopped to see how we were doing before he headed inside to get ready for his 'second' job. He started at the bottom of my raspberry row and, as he walked, he quietly picked the berries that I had missed and placed them in MY bucket. He did not scold me for missing those berries, he did not make me re-pick the row to 'teach me a lesson', he did not put them in a separate bucket. He just quietly added them to my bucket as he asked me how I was doing. And in doing so he taught me the greatest lesson of all.

I was AMAZED that my dad put HIS berries in MY bucket. I remember thinking "I wouldn't do that if I was the dad. I would put them in MY bucket!" I was awed by his generosity and his complete lack of reprimand.

There in lies the lesson.
Often, my Heavenly Father follows quietly behind me noticing my shortcomings and mistakes but, without reprimanding, He makes up the difference. He adds to my 'bucket' blessings and second chances, repentance and renewed commitment, reminders of my covenants and earthly angels who attend to me, prayer and inspiration, a Savior who redeems me through the power of the Atonement.

My dad
did not know that early one morning in the raspberry patch he gave me an understanding of the love an earthly father and Heavenly Father have for me. He helped me feel unconditional love and acceptance. He let me know that I'm never alone in the 'patch' and that when I've done my best, a loving father will come along and make up the difference.


Angels in Disguise

I've seen and met angels wearing the disguise of ordinary people living ordinary lives.
- Tracy Chapman -