Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Every Fifteen Minutes

   I have a few key people in my life who assist me in keeping my body active and functioning well. They are sharing their gifts with me and I in return teach them piano, or their children piano. For at least six months my Pilates teacher has been asking that I visit a Physical Therapist to check an alignment issue with my left side body. I procrastinated until I finally quit making excuses and did as I was told. Farnes is now on board to see what can be done to strength muscles and heal the tissue. The RX consists of doing 16 stretches, one, for one minute, every fifteen minutes throughout the day. I don't mind telling you that this made my head whirl. How was I to accomplish that? So, the question was, "do I want to see results?" Once I gave in I began the logistics of this new routine. Enter the ever trusty I-Phone.

  Yes, every fifteen minutes a bell sounds and I am reminded to stretch, just for one minute. It is working fairly well. Of course there are times when the bell goes unheeded but I see that my body is appreciating this ever present lengthening.
  My granddaughter has been my avid helpmate. She sees her mother doing stretches as well. When she hears my phone she jumps up and finds a place to stretch.

   Her form needs refinement but her spirit is in shape for sure. She is never too busy to respond to the little bell. Hmm..I could learn from that young example.

Monday, November 26, 2012

A Room With A View

I came across a picture taken from within the garden tomb and looking out. I (Click here) pinned it onto a board entitled "A Room With A View".  It made me look for other views from other rooms. The phrase comes from a book by E.M. Forster which promotes the idea that many people live in conservative, stifling rooms and they need a view to save them. I want to look at it differently. The room makes a huge difference in how we interpret the view. For example the garden tomb looks out onto a sunny morning with the hope of resurrection. No tomb, with all that comes with it, then no view, as a consequence.

   Here are two different views. The top is from my living room as I contemplate the changing season. Even from the comfort of my room, I see change as the ultimate blessing. Below is a picture taken by my friend, Sharie, in Lourdes, France. She has been on a pilgrimage, to expand the room she lives in for a long time. Here the view opens to three, evocative of the Godhead, with hope of Justice, Mercy, and continuing Revelation in the view. My interpretation, of course, not hers.

                               What rooms do you look out of and what views do you long to see?

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Giving Thanks

As the Martenelli's bubbles away, we stop to say thanks; thanks for family, near and far.

   This year Thanksgiving was fun for everyone. Favorites included, playing cards, great rolls from Uncle Marc, Madagascar 3 after dinner, vegan pumpkin pie, many cooks bringing food, and enough Martenelli's to fill our glasses every time. We are blessed and we don't deserve it.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Expressing Gratitude More Than 10% Of The Time

At Thanksgiving perhaps 100% of us are grateful.
Luke 17: 11-19
I am grateful that I get to go to school and  have amigos. I'm grateful for mi familia.

Mom and Dad,
  You guys are really important to my life and it's you guys who are the people who will determine how I will live the rest of my life, as I personally believe that I will turn out all right; but that's because you are guiding me.

I am grateful for everything you do for me. To get into specifics would make this letter longer than either of us feel like reading.

To My Parents,
  I am grateful for the love and support you show me. I am grateful that you guys deal with me all the time. I love you guys!

To my mother,
    I am grateful for so many things, some expressions I can't put into words. I am grateful for your smile and your laughter; how you are my mother who is kind and caring beyond words; who puts up with me and loves and accepts all of me, completely.

For Mom,
  I am grateful for the season of gratitude. I am grateful for Mom's ability to cook over and over again.

I am grateful for a community who believes in loving your neighbor without regard to religious beliefs.
I am grateful to be able to teach and for students who listen, sometimes. I am grateful to be a member of a big family and that I am loved within it's circle.
    Sis. B

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

While I Was Reading Sunday- John 9

Reading this account of blindness got me thinking. This young man, blind from birth, receives a miracle by the hand of a man called Jesus. 
  John 9:11 "He answered and said, A man that is called Jesus made clay, and anointed mine eyes, and said unto me, Go to the pool of Siloam, and wash: and I went and washed, and I received sight." This miracle uncovers other blindness and becomes quite a sensation.

    The disciples of Jesus were blind as to why handicaps afflict mortal man.
John 9:2 "And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?"
    The Pharisees were blinded by their dogmatic keeping of the Law.
    John 9:16 "Therefore said some of the Pharisees, This man is not of God, because he keepeth not the sabbath day. Others said, How can a man that is a sinner do such miracles? And there was a division among them."
   His parents chose blindness to protect their place in Jewish society.
   John 9:20 "His parents answered them and said, We know that this is our son, and that he was born blind:  But by what means he now seeth, we know not; or who hath opened his eyes, we know not: he is of age; ask him: he shall speak for himself."
  I asked for a volunteer in seminary on Friday, one who would choose to be blindfolded for half the class. He was at the mercy of those who would tell him where to walk and where to sit. He became quite docile and compliant to accommodate his handicap. What a relief to be able to act for himself. The principle that resonated with me is that agency requires sight, and sight is given through the mercy and atonement of Jesus Christ.
  John 9:39 "And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind. And some of the Pharisees which were with him heard these words, and said unto him, Are we blind also? Jesus said unto them, If ye were blind, ye should have no sin: but now ye say, We see; therefore your sin remaineth."
   Where am I still blind to see?

Friday, November 16, 2012

Morning Lines #25- What a Puzzle

Picture Puzzle Piece 
by Shel Silverstein
One picture puzzle piece
Lyin' on the sidewalk,
One picture puzzle piece
Soakin' in the rain.
It might be a button of blue
On the coat of the woman
Who lived in a shoe.
It might be a magical bean,
Or a fold in the red
Velvet robe of a queen.
It might be the one little bite
Of the apple her stepmother
Gave to Snow White.
It might be the veil of a bride
Or a bottle with some evil genie inside.
It might be a small tuft of hair
On the big bouncy belly
Of Bobo the Bear.
It might be a bit of the cloak
Of the Witch of the West
As she melted to smoke.
It might be a shadowy trace
Of a tear that runs down an angel's face.
Nothing has more possibilities
Than one old wet picture puzzle piece.

    I do jigsaws in the winter. It teaches me to see. I am often blind to many aspects of my life. I have a big picture but the details get confusing.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Collecting Pottery

   I am surrounded by talented artists of every kind and I like to collect pieces that make me happy. Liz Lewis, a local potter, makes dishes we love to use. We have small bowls, a big bowl, and this last birthday my daughter gifted me with plates with round edges and a little teapot. I love them!

                     It is amazing to me how a lump of clay can become a vibrant, colorful bowl.

                       Those hands have a touch and the clay molds to become what she desires.

   During December, Liz opens her studio and I visit with the intention to buy something new for my cupboards. I think I will add to my rounded plates and make it a set of four.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Twinkle Lights

I have been teased about loving twinkle lights all year round, but the truth is I love them in my living room, my work space, my kitchen, and I would put them in my bathroom but my husband put his foot down on that location.

   I believe my fascination harkens back to the days of childhood when my mother took me on evening walks through the neighborhood. She liked going at dusk when people had their windows open and the lights in their houses were just coming on. The coziest homes had soft lighting with the glow twinkling into corners.

      My enjoyment is shared by my daunter who decorates with light in her bedroom. So, as the season approaches when it is kosher to turn on the twinkles, I must say, "Twinkle lights all year long." Check out my Pinterest board of twinkle lights.

Sunday, November 11, 2012


My Early Morning Guests took a basic doctrine assessment test last Monday. The purpose was to find out if my students understood principles of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Immediately following the test each student received an answer sheet to see how they did. The results were varied and we reviewed the questions that everyone missed and talked about the questions everyone got right.  The very last question was an essay question that went like this: Suppose a friend asked you, "What is required for full and complete repentance?' What would be a correct response? Now, mind you, it was 6:30 am and my students don't especially like writing. Everyone included feeling sorry, confessing the sin, and trying to make things right. No one mentioned Jesus Christ or his atonement. 

  That raised a red flag for me. Are we teaching the principle of repentance without the doctrine of the atonement of Jesus Christ? The next morning we played 7 Little Words.

   This learning readiness game was intended to spur more discussion about what complete repentance
entails. For more direction about this game click here.

    The next morning, day three, I asked them to answer the same essay question in their journals. To my dismay, Jesus Christ was still missing from the process of repentance in everyone's answer. This called me to action. Every Friday our devotional will be entitled "Faith in Jesus Christ Friday". We started with the account from Enos, looking for what Christ offers in the process of repentance. To have our guilt swept away is pretty awesome. My hope is that He will be the anchor we wrap ourselves around.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Free the Onion

  I read about a very unique children's book entitled "The Onion's Great Escape" and purchased it recently for my grandson.

   We really enjoyed reading it aloud together. There are two plot lines, one is the rescue of the onion from the "fry" and the second is the quest to answer life's really hard questions. For example; if you have more and more thoughts, will your head get bigger? We wrote the answers to the questions in his book and after each page, freed a little more of the doomed onion until,……

                                                   He escaped to be ever an entity in himself.

                   Which left the book with a gaping hole but still readable and enjoyable to ponder.

     Great for a Christmas gift, boys or girls 6-12. The questions are deep, deep , and deeper.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Seminary Faculty Meeting

   "Early one morning, just as the sun was rising....."

I was invited to a seminary teaching meeting across the many waters. We were introduced to SST, sequential scripture teaching, another way to describe teaching how to search in the scriptures. Over the last eight years I have tried to wrap my head around this way of teaching and each year it becomes clearer. Here is my understanding of it in a step by step process.
  1. Decide which block of scripture you are going to teach
  2. Read and search for doctrine and principles
  3. Prayerfully consider which D&P best fit your class.
  4. Check with the resource teacher's manual to see how these D&P's are presented.
  5. Write some search, analysis, and application questions for your students.
  6. Give time for students to read, look, and write.
  7. Discuss their ideas
  8. Tie up and connect ideas with a summary, story, video, ect.

Sequential Scripture Teaching
 Looking for doctrine and principles in different blocks within a chapter.

What I know for sure from finally making journal writing happen is that each student needs to learn to write about what they are finding in the scriptures. My students don't love it but I see positive benefits from that consistent effort. Once a month I have a game with questions where it is open journal only. My point is made when they find the answer written in their own hand.

                            The journaling can reveal thoughts that bear testimony.

                                  We keep track of our personal reading here as well.

   As the age for going on missions went down the need is ever more urgent to understand doctrine and apply principles. Much can happen here early each morning.