Saturday, November 28, 2020

The Wintry Day Descending to its Close

Several months ago, I had the music and text to "The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close" going through my mind, and deep in my heart day after day. So, I pulled out my beloved old hymnbook and spent a bit of time with this wonderful hymn. It was as if I were immersed in the scriptures in my quiet sanctuary, listening to pure testimony. I love all the verses, but verse two is especially touching right now. I also love verse four. This hymn is one of the great a cappella hymns, but even without a choir, I did find great joy in playing the simple piano version.

Verse 2: I cannot go to rest, but linger still
In meditation at my windowsill,
While, like the twinkling stars in heaven’s dome, Come one by one sweet memories of home. And wouldst thou ask me where my fancy roves To reproduce the happy scenes it loves, Where hope and memory together dwell And paint the pictured beauties that I tell?

Sunday, June 21, 2020

Father's Day

The Allred siblings at Spencer and Gentry's wedding - September 2015

On this Father's Day, I want to pay tribute to my four children, Spencer, Benjamin, Rebecca, and Preston, who took care of each other, and also took care of me all during their growing up years. Though they were so blessed to have amazing grandparents, and wonderful aunts and uncles that loved them and supported them, still it was on days like Father's Day, that the emotions could come to the surface, and were often very difficult.

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Sunday, September 30, 2018

The Call

A few times in my life, I have been in a sacred place, often in the privacy of my home, sometimes in the early morning hours, and at other times in the late hours of the evening, pondering, reflecting and feeling deeply the travails of life. In those sacred moments, I have providentially, at times, come upon a beautiful piece of music that immediately sinks deep in my soul, and somehow touches the profound feelings of the spirit. It has been in those moments that I have wept with deep emotion, searching for understanding and compassion, and seeking for love and forgiveness. In those moments, as my soul feels the beautiful music, I cry out for help and relief from my heavy burdens.

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Sunday, September 9, 2018

A Wounded Heart

Early in my journey of healing, I tried to study about the stages of grief in an effort to understand what I was feeling. But, honestly, my emotions were all over the place. I wasn’t sure where I was at any given moment or on any given day. Recently, having come full circle in my personal journey with the death of my former husband, not to mention other major challenges that were on the horizon, I hoped somehow that I would experience a little bit of respite from many of the thunderstorms of life. I hoped that I might find some tranquility, if for a small moment, instead of the constant tumultuous storms of adversity. 

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Monday, September 3, 2018

Pay it Forward

In my early years of being a single parent, we had so many experiences that confirmed over and over to me that Heavenly Father was aware of my little family, that He loved us, and that somehow, we were going to make it. I held onto those days with all I had. Of course, I had just as many bad days as good days. There were days that discouraged me more than I ever thought possible. But as I held onto my testimony and my faith, I somehow believed that it would be all right.

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Sunday, August 19, 2018

Alone and Pregnant

December 1998 - getting ready to leave the hospital

As the weeks passed, and the reality of single parenting set in, I began looking toward the birth of my fourth child. I was in the final stages of my doctoral dissertation, with deadlines fast approaching, but with the events of the past many weeks, I knew that I would not finish on time. Thankfully, deadlines were extended because of my personal situation, and I was able to focus on my pregnancy. I began preparing myself to give birth yet a fourth time.

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Saturday, July 28, 2018

Lessons from Job

Those first tumultuous days and weeks instilled in me a deep longing for peace and comfort. I prayed constantly and pleaded for deliverance. Even with the miracles that were manifest in my life, the sorrow was so deep that when I poured out my heart to God, I couldn’t make sense of what I was feeling. It was a struggle to feel heaven’s inspiration because my emotions were so intense. I longed for the precious early morning hours of days gone by when I would feel the gentle promptings of the Spirit. In my search for answers, I turned to the scriptures daily. 

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