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Look carefully...at the seemingly small moments...in the constant shaping of souls.- Neal A.Maxwell

mom's recipe

     Growing up I did not like my mom's homemade mac and cheese, I preferred the boxed stuff.  What was I thinking?  Now I would love to have mom's recipe.  She's gone so I can't ask her for it and it is not in her filebox.  Going through an old Betty Crocker cookbook I thought I found the recipe, and maybe I did.  I'm allergic to onions so those were omitted.  We didn't have any paprika so no to that.  We don't use white bread so I made crumbs from 9-grain bread.  We generally don't use a lot of added salt and because the butter and cheese were both salted I did not add the 2 tsps the recipe called for.  B is allergic to the coloring in cheddar cheese so I used mozzarella  (in retrospect Monterey Jack would have been much better).  The boys liked the dinner okay, me not so much.  Like I said, I may have found the right recipe but....

     I have had a political blog simmering inside for some time now.  It was initially quite lengthy but has been mentally rewritten and revised until it has been condensed to this:  I love my country.  I love the principles on which it was founded.  I am grateful we have the privilege to each vote our conscience as defined individually, person by person.  And yet as we vote as individuals, and regardless of who we choose to vote for, it is possible to remain united as family, as friends, as neighbors, as coworkers...as a nation - if we so choose, person by person.


      I heard the phrase recently "true and honest heart."  I have heard the phrase many times in the past but this last time it struck  a chord with me.  "What exactly," I wondered, "is a 'true and honest heart'"?  Using the topical guide in my bible I read some of the scriptures listed under "true."  Then I googled "define true."  This part of the definition gave me new insight, "bring (an object, wheel, or other construction) into the exact shape, alignment, or position required."  A true heart, at least in part, is one that is in alignment, defined as "a position of agreement or alliance." and looking up alliance, "a state of of being joined or associated. "


     I had chemical patch testing done recently.  8 patches each containing 10 different chemicals was placed on my back for 48 hours.  Allergic reactions were read 24 hours after the patches were removed.  The substances that caused a reaction were typed into a database and a list of products "safe" me was produced.  I had to change literally every product I was using.  Laundry detergent, dish detergent, shampoo, conditioner, soap, toothpaste, deodorant, make-up, tissue paper...  I already have a lengthy list of foods I have to avoid.  I laughed and joked with the Dr. as we went over the results but as the reality of the ramifications of the results settled in I admit to a feeling of despondency.  The list of safe products is narrow and, in many cases, expensive.  Going out to eat was already a challenge now any travel will be a challenge.  In addition there is no guarantee that my list of allergies won't continue to grow.    I fully acknowledge that there are hardships much more difficult than mine unfortunately , however, that knowledge did not negate my despondency.  


     I do yoga in the morning while listening to LDS conference talks (a practice that highly amuses 19-year old C).  I have been doing the same yoga poses for a long time.  So long, in fact, they have become routine and not very beneficial.  Last week I added some new exercises.  One of them requires putting your feet together and standing on tiptoe for 5-10 seconds repeated 5 times.  I could not stand on tiptoe.  I had to walk and even then I was wobbly and I would get mildly nauseous from the lack of balance.
     This morning I listened to Elder Bednar's Oct16 talk "If Ye Had Known Me"  ( https://www.lds.org/general-conference/2016/10/if-ye-had-known-me?lang=eng)  while I exercised.  His talk really spoke to me, so much that I listened to it 3 times.  In it he said:
"The exercise of faith in Jesus Christ is relying upon His merits, mercy, and grace.  We begin to come to know the Savior as we arouse our spiritual faculties and experiment upon His teachings, even until we can give place in our souls for a portion of His words.  As our faith in the Lord increases, we trust in Him and have confidence in His power to redeem, heal, and strengthen us." 

     This morning I was able to stand still on tiptoe in perfect balance for about 3 seconds before I started wobbling.  I had already realized that I was out of balance in my life and that was the root cause of despondency.  It was nice to see balance being restored physically and to start to understand, with Christ, how to restore it spiritually.

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