Friday, August 22, 2008

The High Country

So.... I have procrastinated long enough in telling of our backpacking trip. Michael and I had a grand experience over 2 miles high in the Sierras. We started at the highest trail head in the Eastern Sierras, 10,250 ft. high. (Can't breathe!!) Click on photos to make larger.

This is "Little Lakes Valley". A spectacular series of lakes, all over 10,000 feet high. An incredible opportunity to appreciate the wonders of God's creations, and I move slow enough that we were able to take it all in.

As we carried backpacks that were too heavy, it dawned on me that if I did this often enough, I would be in great physical condition! Good goal.

Sleeping under the stars at that elevation is a totally different experience. You can't really make out the constellations because of the blanket of stars. The Milky Way was close enough to touch.

The granite peaks make you feel incredibly small.

You never get tired of looking at them.

Notice the snow pack still on the ground. I took this picture from one of our campsites.

Mike and I bathed in this creek just above where he is standing. We will never be the same, if you know what I mean (refreshing...Not!)

This is Rock creek that connects all of the lakes (Marsh Lake, Mark Lake, Heart Lake, Box Lake, Long Lake And (finally!) Chicken Foot Lake on our trip up Little Lakes Valley.

Now my goal is to hike the John Muir Trail before I get to old (should keep me young, don't you think?!!). 216 miles, from Yosemite to Whitney Portal.Some of the most spectacular country this side of Alaska.

So..... Who's going to get in shape and go with me???

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Garden of Innocence

These are the results of our Enrichment Night which included making coffins for the Garden of Innocence. They are an organization that provides a dignified burial for abandoned babies. In addition the the caskets, complete with 2 homemake blankets, toy and poem, they give the baby a name and hold a memorial service. It was a wonderful feeling to know you were doing something that counts.
We made 8 in all. This is Elissa, the founder of the organization, Nick, it was his eagle scout project; he built the caskets and Katherine who organized the rest for her Laurel project

I thought mine turned out great.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008


I have been thinking about a comment on Lauri's blog for a few days and decided to share my thoughts on the subject here. On Lauri's blog she said, "My mother in law has brought this up. Turn it over to Christ she tells me. Allow the atonement to work. Do we Suffer needlessly because we don't turn our hearts over to the healing power of the Lord? So, what exactly does that mean? Christ died for us. He has felt my suffering and pain. He atoned for it. He has promised us “I will … ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that … you cannot feel them … ; and this will I do … that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.” While this is a comforting thought I ask what does it mean exactly to allow the atonement to work for me? Is it faith?"

I think this is one of the great questions of life. It is so hard to comprehend how this can be possible. I read a book a while ago from Stephen Robinson called, "Believing Christ". His premise was, yes we believe in Christ, but do we believe Christ. It's easy to say, he is our Savior, he died for our sins, we believe in the atonement...but do we really believe Christ. Do we believe him when he says he paid the price for our sins? If so when we repent of our sins, are we able to let go of them and see ourselves as pure and worthy of all the blessings he has to offer or do we compare ourselves to others. So often not measuring up. To be able to actually turn our pain and problems over to Christ takes some practice. Again do you believe he will accept them? It takes time to establish that level of faith and trust.

To do so you begin with prayer, daily personal prayer. I like to start my prayers with , "Father are you there" and wait to speak until I feel his presence. It is amazing to me, but I have never not felt his presence when I begin a prayer this way. Sometimes it takes a few minutes but it always happens.

The next step is scripture reading. I know studying is better, but it is amazing how beneficial just one verse of scripture a day can be. If you are having a hard time reading try just a little bit and build on.

The last thing that helps me is to attend the temple. The temple is such a peaceful place and it is so nice to have a place that is away from the hustle and bustle of regular life. I am always renewed after I go.

Last of all, this is a line upon line, step by step process that continues throughout your life. It doesn't matter if you have perfected your relationship with Christ. The question should be, are you closer this month than you were last month?