Friday, August 28, 2009

A Bag of Tools

Isn't it strange how princes and kings,
and clowns that caper in sawdust rings,
and common people, like you and me,
are builders for eternity?

Each is given a list of rules;
a shapeless mass; a bag of tools.
And each must fashion, ere life is flown,
A stumbling block, or a Stepping-Stone.

by R. Lee Sharpe

I first read this poem when we liven in Provo many years ago. I found it in a binder in my Dad's office that turned out to be a school project that he had made many years before. It was a binder full of poems and the very first one was A Bag of Tools. I read it several times that day and put it back in the bookshelf. As the years passed I often thought of the poems last line and tried to think of the obstacles in my life as an opportunity to grow, a chance to climb one step closer to my end goal.

A couple of days ago I was trying to re-arrange my room (Dad's office that I am currently living in) to give myself a little more room and I came across the same binder. I opened it up to the first poem and read the words again. This morning as I got up and put yesterday behind me, because believe me it was a very bad day, I realized that the hurt and pain we feel when we loose someone or they hurt us is inevitable, but the circumstances themselves are open for interpretation. I can't control the pain I feel or the loss of the relationship but I can choose to use this experience as a stepping stone. So I got dressed, ate some cereal, made some brownies to thank someone for being so kind to me and embraced the ache in my heart a little more than yesterday.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


I went on a little hike this past weekend in the Sandia Mountains to get some time away from the family and to love on myself a little. It was a beautiful New Mexico day and I felt a feeling of peace come over me as soon as I stepped out on the trail. I took a backpack filled with trail mix ,water, my journal and my favorite fountain pen that my cousin Mirjam sent me from Switzerland a while back. I had this idea of finding some secluded meadow of wild flowers and spending hours writing and lounging in the warm sun and the light breeze.

The trail was filled with families, groups of cute men who I think were gay (why are the cute ones either married or gay?), hand holding couples, dogs with long panting tongues hanging from their mouths, and me. Oh and one really good looking trail runner that inspired me to be in better shape as he ran past me. The trail is 1.5 miles across the top of the mountain to the top of the tram where High Finance Restaurant is located and then the same route back. As I made it to the tram station I noticed a sign (above) placed to warn visitors that had just taken the tram up the mountain and were stepping into the wilderness for the first time. I thought to myself that I needed a sign like that in my life, a sign to caution me when I am entering hazardous terrain. And then I realized that I already have a caution sign, the Holy Ghost! He warns me of danger and of a bumpy trail a head. He cautions me to proceed carefully and to be aware of the terrain. He isn't as obvious or as brightly colored as the sign on the trail but he is always with me. My Father in Heaven knew that my road would be rough at times, that I would be traveling through mountainous terrain, and that I would need caution and guidance.

As I hiked back to the car to head home I thought about my life and all the twists and turns my road has taken the past 5 months. I thought about the unexpected place my trail had taken me and how just like my hike that day I wasn't sitting in a meadow of wild flowers but was scrambling over boulders and tree roots instead. It hasn't been an easy hike, and it's far from over, but I felt blessed that my Heavenly Father reminded me that I am not alone and that I always have His guidance and warning signs if I just pay attention.