Tag Archives: God

A Miracle Happened Today

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A miracle happened today! …actually it happened on Saturday – sharing it today.

Saturday evening members of my family were reluctantly, disguised as eagerly, helping me get the house and food ready for a large gathering to be held the next day in our home following my youngest son and child’s mission farewell held at our church. (He has been called to serve a two-year mission for the Church Of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints in the New York New York North Mission Spanish speaking)

It was about 8:30pm I had two large pots of boiling water on the stove cooking pasta. My handyman husband Scott was under the kitchen sink taking apart the disposal to figure out why water was leaking out all over the floor. My grown married children were vacuuming, setting up tables and chairs out on the patio with a lot of laughing, talking and enjoying each other’s company.

Water from the pot on the back burner started boiling over onto the stove top which often happens when I cook with the colandar inside the pot.  I had a dumb idea that I began to execute – I lifted the colander to pour the pasta into the pan to continue cooking – next thing I knew the pot of boiling water was pouring down the front of me drenching my stomach and legs down to my knees… I immediately felt the intense heat and knew I was in trouble.  In a somewhat panicked voice, yet calm, I said, “I just burned myself”  as I grabbed hold of my pant legs to pull the hot fabric away from my skin.  I headed straight for the bathroom and into the shower fully clothed and turned on the cold water – immediately a very distinct voice said “your *garments saved you”.

I went upstairs to my bedroom to assess the damage to my throbbing stomach and legs – I looked like a pink lobster! I sat in the tub with cool water pouring onto my legs for about 30 seconds (yes only 30 seconds – too much to get done downstairs)  I then rubbed  DoTerra Lavender Essential Oil over the burnt area, dressed, knelt giving thanks to my Heavenly Father and resumed position in my kitchen.

My husband and children were very concerned, each voicing their strong opinion, how I should be treating my wound which did NOT include my personal choice of  picking up where I left off.  I assured them I was okay – I shared with them the voice I had heard in the shower and the peace that had come over me. I knew I had been protected and would be okay.  The slight burning sensation continued for about another hour on a small area of my stomach and upper right leg – I continued to apply the Lavender oil.  By 1:30 a.m.  I finished everything on my to-do list and retired to bed finding only two small burn marks on my stomach and a few marks on my leg – the only evidence of what had happened.

I’m feeling very blessed for how this event played out – very different than what it could have been.

P.S. My son’s talk was EXCEPTIONAL – he is very ready to serve the Lord and for all the right reasons. #proudmom

*Just as many observant people around the world wear religiously significant items of clothing to signify their relationship with God, Mormons too wear emblematic garments to remind them of covenants made in the temple. (mormons.org)

5 Sure Ways to Be HaPpY

Choose to Be HaPpY

Choose to Be HaPpY

The tears surfaced and rolled down my cheeks as I observed poverty far greater than I thought humanly possible. As I walked the very streets that Mother Theresa walked in Kolkata, India, I noticed something peculiar as I looked beyond the trash, makeshift shanties and barefoot children. I saw smiles and heard laughter!

How could this be possible?  Didn’t they know what they were missing, lacking and deprived of?   Though their circumstantial challenges seemed great, they were happy – focused on what they DO have, not what they don’t.  Right before my eyes, I was witnessing what choosing to be happy looked like.

Be HaPpY

Holocaust survivor Viktor E. Frankl,  and author of Man’s Search for Meaning said, “Everything can be taken from a man but one thing: the last of the human freedoms—to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances, to choose one’s own way.” 

Game changer.

I went to India to inspire, teach and change the world, but instead it was ME that was inspired, taught and changed.  Forever.  

I realized that if  I desired to live a JOY filled life it was up to ME – it was a choice. My choice.

“When you change the way you look at things the things you look at change.” ~Wayne W. Dyer

I have never been a materialistic person, well at least I thought I wasn’t.  Money didn’t grow on trees at my house, but I never felt I lacked any of the essentials.  There were days I stood in my closet staring at a long rack of clothes uttering “I don’t have a thing to wear.” Pathetic.  And there were days I opened the refrigerator, you know the big ice box that keeps food from spoiling for days and sometimes weeks on end, and while staring at shelves filled with food I mumble, “We don’t have a thing to eat – let’s go out.” Embarrassing. 

On the streets of Kolkata, I  made a conscious decision to be HaPpY. Yes, it’s no secret that life’s a rollercoaster filled with twists, turns and loop-de-loops.  I’ve yet to meet anyone who is challenge and trial free. And I would never pray to have less trials or to have my challenges removed – I feel that’s all part of the journey.

If Viktor Frankl is correct, and the only thing I am really in control of is my ability to choose my ATTITUDE then  I’m choosing to enJOY the journey every step of the way. It’s a choice.

I’ve discovered in my almost 52 years of life there are 5 sure ways to ensure HaPpY-ness.

1. Be Grateful.  Appreciate the little things.  Keep a gratitude journal at the side of your bed.  And at the end of each day write ONE thing that you are grateful for and FIVE reasons why.  This exercises creates a mind shift, training our brain to scan for happiness.  Being grateful adds beauty to life.

2.  Be Others Focused.  When you look for opportunities to serve expecting nothing in return, a beautiful thing happens; you forget about your worries and woes, endorphins are released, thus creating a shift in your mood. Being others focused brings joy to life.

3.  Be Creative – step outside the box.  Being creative adds pleasure to life – it puts the FUN in life and relationships. I love the dad who cut his jeans into short shorts to show his daughter that short shorts aren’t that cute – he demonstrated creative parenting.  I love him not just because he is my husband (smiley face), but because he looks for opportunities to lighten up tough or difficult situations.  That doesn’t mean to not take life serious, it just means to DO something each day that makes you and others smile.

“Smiling stimulates our brain’s reward mechanisms in a way that even chocolate, a well-regarded pleasure-inducer, cannot match.”

4.  Be YOU

 Family Fun 3

Everyone is an unrepeatable miracle.  Share your gifts and talents to lift and serve others.  Being YOU adds VALUE to life.

5.  Be Forgiving.  Forgive yourself and forgive others.  This is not always easy and it does not mean you are condoning whoever hurt you, it means you are CHOOSING to move forward, and a better person for it.

“To forgive is to set a prisoner free and discover that the prisoner was you.”  ~Louis B. Smedes

As I incorporate these five actions, a paradigm shift happens, just as it did when I was in India.  I begin to automatically scan the world looking for good and to see the positive in people, situations and circumstances.  Beautiful.

Life’s Short Lesson: CHOOSE to be HaPpY.

Highlights of my trip to India.

On the Serious Side. by Scott Mackintosh

My husband Scott posted something serious as his Facebook status, it caught me by surprise, because he likes to keep things on the lighter side.  When I read it, I knew it needed to be my next blog post ….so HERE IT IS …

On The Serious Side.  by Scott Mackintosh

OK, I am weird, I admit that, but let me explain. I dread every funeral that comes my way. I dread them because of the obvious reasons of death and finality. I have been attending too many funerals as of late, and in nearly every instance it was someone that I considered too young.

Now let me explain why I might be different than most, because so far I am most likely on track with the norm. …

Funerals 

I feel that they are the BEST church meetings that one can attend. (Weird huh?) I have held on to every word that has been spoken. I have seen more love and compassion from loved ones than I could fathom. I have enjoyed these services beyond my dreams. Bottom line is that I have learned so much.

What I have learned …

First, is to never judge. Jesus Christ is the judge and my job is to love. I can never fully know what trials others are asked to bear.

Second, is that its not up to me to decide what is too young. My trust in God tells me that the presence of God and passed loved ones has to be better than the pains associated with mortal life, although there is MUCH joy in this life. I should be happy for those who pass the test and get to live with God again. My mortal mind tells me something different than that.

Third, I feel a closer presence of loved ones past whom I really get the impression that they send promptings to help me succeed. At funerals I stop my busy life long enough to feel those impressions while the veil of forgetfulness becomes somewhat thin.

Fourth, I become more vulnerable on those sacred days. I hug more. I say the words “I Love You” more and the best part is that I truly mean it.

Fifth, is that I appreciate life so much more and am reminded to not take loved ones for granted. I treasure the re-acquaintances of family and friends.

Sixth, is that its OK to CRY. Quit fighting it and let it go. It’s a great relief and others wont be able to see you through their own tears anyway.

Seventh, and final item, is that God teaches me on those sacred days.  Because of the words spoken and even the unspoken words, I ALWAYS walk away with a deeper desire and commitment to be a BETTER person.

I am sorry and ashamed that it takes those types of reminders to recommit, but that is what funerals do for me. I attended two yesterday, of beautiful people who did much good in this world, that is why I am a bit sensitive today. I am sorry if this is not my normal funny me, but dang it, this is my way to heal.

Now having said all this, I pray that it’s quite a while before the next one.

 

An Answered Prayer

An Answered Prayer…

Today at church, I was asked to share a story in primary about PRAYER.  I knew the toughest part about fulfilling this request would be to do – it – without – crying! Prayer has helped me through some pretty tough stuff in my life.  It has been a means of comfort, inspiration and daily guidance.  Several prayer stories raced through my head making it somewhat difficult to choose just one.  The story I chose to share with those adorable 7-11 year olds was a story that took place last summer…..

My youngest daughter Myley, went on a three week LDS youth church historical tour called “Heritage Tours”  They traveled through 26 states in 21 days.  To document their experience, the one-hundred 18 year olds were asked to bring an actual hands-on camera, no cell phones were allowed.  About half way through the tour,  I got a frantic emergency phone call from Myley saying she had left her camera at their last stop…a truck stop…one state over from where she now was.  She gave me the name and location of the truck stop where she last used it.  I told her to pray that someone with integrity would find it. She said she already had. (thats music to a mother’s ears) The first thing I did was get on my knees and pray that somehow the camera would find it’s way back to Myley. Next I “googled” the truck-stop and called the number listed.  A lady answered, I explained our dilemma, she put me on hold as she went to check the  restroom, the adjourning fast food joint, and the lost-n-found.  No luck.  I thanked her and left my name and number just in case someone turned it in.  For several days I continued to pray for the return of the camera and made several calls to the truck stop.

Three weeks later, a package addressed to Myley, was delivered.  You guessed it!  It was the camera along with a letter from the lady who found it. She said she found the camera in the restroom and could tell from the pictures that these were teens traveling across the nation on some kind of tour.  She searched the truck stop looking for the girl in all the pictures.  She said she thought about turning it in, but decided against it, not knowing if they would be honest and see that it got back to the rightful owner. She then took the quest upon herself.  She searched the pictures one-by-one hoping for a clue of its owner….  then whaa-laaa…. she FOUND a clue!

While in Palmyra, New York at the Sacred Grove, Myley had taken a picture of her scriptures lying next to a special written blessing she had received.  The lady was able to zoom in enough on that picture to see Myley’s name, her parents names and state in which she lived. She used those clues to begin her search. For the next two weeks she was very diligent in searching facebook and calling all the Mackintosh’s listed in the whitepages until she finally found someone who still used a “home phone” …..an uncle who gave her my husband’s cell …..then she made the call.  My husband was elated at the news and knew Myley would be ecstatic.  He asked if we could send her a reward…. she said,  No, that she had had so much fun playing detective the past two weeks that her reward was being able to return it to the rightful owner.   How cool is that!

It’s a great feeling knowing there are good people in this world who are honest and desire to do the right thing under any circumstance.

The letter also told Myley to look at the LAST picture on the camera …..Image

Thank YOU Carol!  And Thank you Heavenly Father who heard and answered the prayers of a teen and her mother.