Saturday, December 28, 2013


SO....Josh and I will be in Seattle by tomorrow night. Michael is already there. Spencer leaves in the morning Dad will be the only Harris in Utah for a night or two.

I am sad we didnt take pics ...we are old? Forgetful? wrapped up in the moment? When Megan gets back I'll see what she has on her phone.

I delivered the candy to Holly. Her mum's accent was brillant.

Talking to you was HEAVEN. Pure HEAVEN Sam xxooxxooxxoo. You are still the BEAUTIFUL. PERFECT, HAPPY, LOVING, WISE child of mine. I will make sure to take pics in Seattle for next week. I promise!
Happy New Years Lovey!!!! 2014 is going to be AWESOME for ALL of us!!!!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

ONE DAY till Michael...3 days for Sam xxooxx

Anna Alphin and her posts are in the top 10 of my favorite things that randomly come to me in a day! This is the instagram post:
Anna_allphin  Yeup...Taught my cat how to sit. Beat that. #cat trainer#poke cat #my cat
Megsalina  Love sharing a cat with you.
Anna_allphin  It's the only way to have a cat
Our cat stars in plenty of insta gram posts from Anna...go back and see them if you can. ANNA is freakin hysterical!!!!

ALMOST THERE!!!!! Tommorrow. Tomorrow!!!!!!!!.... 3 days SAMMER!!!!

I got the package last night...YOU are SOOOO Adorable!!! Do you have yours yet????
Maybe lie to me if you don't. Argh....

You would be snow boarding CRAZY if you were home. Snow snow and more snow!!! Poor Spencer is learning the sacrifices of a favorite job...all his buds have been going but he has to work. Good thing he loves it. I really am so blessed that all our kids are so responsible. Thank YOU!!!  As I write the snow  is gently falling outside. Its BEAUTIFUL...till you have to go out in it.

Laura flies out in a few hours. She will be gone 2 weeks. Man, we will miss her. I don't know that I'v EVER met a more kind, loving ,happy, easy to be with person. She is a welcomed balance in our home.

Josh is here with all his stuff. Done with Logan for now. Thinking to leave for Seattle around the 28th. Tomorrow the Partying BEGINS. I am ready. I am so ready.

OK Lovies...keep me in your prayers. I am still on target for DIAMOND. Finger, eyes and toes crossies. My builders are so ridiculously AMAZING. And so is the product...and so is our LIFE!!!!! Thrilled to take 4 days and CELEBRATE ALL OF THAT!

Megs is ready for Costa Rica. Still think we should look for a job for her that involves more travel....well, or more vacation days :)

So...the tree is up, but still no lights or decorations and pretty sure no one really cares :) It makes me smile.

I am almost done with shopping...just need a few more stocking stuffers. I just found this shirt that I missed putting in your will come in your next one...we got it for Christmas eve jammies when we were in Seattle...the boys had a hilarious time choosing which shirt was MORE ridiculous.  .They went with the one with 3 wolves :)

Make sure you tell us WHAT TIME for talking on Christmas Sam.
I love you both SO much...but I like it so much better when its IN PERSON>

OUT in that field xxooxx

Another anonymous letter came in the mail tonight.  I am surprised, mentally upended, and taking note: words I shared in my most vulnerable authenticity have touched a place in yet another, to merit the time and effort of it.  Whoa. Wow. Breathing. Hmmmmmm….we really do ripple out. I am a mix of rejoicing that I mattered and then heavy to feel that responsibility.

I was not sharing to touch a place of fear and distrust. I did not intend anger or malice. I wrote for those who love me and were confused. I wrote to share my new place of freedom and joy. I wrote to express as Cheryl Strayed put it:
I only felt that in spite of all the things I’d done wrong in getting myself here, I’d done right.

I put on my most courageous armor and laid my heart out for anyone who cared to see it. I knew that many would be sad and disappointed. Please remember to a time when someone YOU loved was sad over your decisions and disappointed in a way you knew they lost respect. I had to keep sweeping off me the feelings of THAT tangible cloak to the floor as I opened up to you …as I bested at showing you who I am. As I instead, chose MY cloak of GRACE. Now I want to share the Anne Lamott quote that rings through me
“I do not understand the story of Grace—only that it meets us where we are but does not leave us where it found us” xxxoooxx

I come here to sort my brain and heart. Writing clarifies for me. As the words hit the page my gut leads me --and stops me, begging for a rewrite, a re- FEEL, a different thought that feels more truthful for me,… or pushes me on. Clarifying is an addiction for me. A God given addiction. Now there is something to ponder over a minute. As you know I have.

SEE ME, HEAR ME, LOVE ME. This is my quest for myself. Just as I want and seek to SEE YOU, HEAR YOU, and LOVE YOU. I am imperfect.  WE ARE IMPERFECT. One of the letters felt it “opportunistic” for me to “play the imperfection card”.  ???

I feel misunderstood.  I honestly had NOT seen how I might be being seen from your perspective before. You know I LOVE a new perspective so thank you. I have rolled over many possibilities for what that meant to you. I am going with a light of love: that you trust me. But that your fear must give me the warning--in hopes that I won’t dismiss my frailties or missteps in the name of imperfection and be content with a lesser life because of my accepting them?
Jack Kornfield said this on Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday last week and I want the world to feel it :
Fear is the cheapest room of the house, I’d like to see you in better living conditions.   LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this, right?

I am messy. I mis step. I am also opportunistic.

I get glimpses of my HEAVEN as I continue to seek my quest.
I have not LOST MY FAITH, quite the contrary. My FAITH has never been bigger or more sure. I am sad that because I believe differently now that some may feel so. I am a disciple of MANY.
Another letter made note that “not one mention of His name (Jesus Christ) was found in your ramblings…just an observation and hope it was an unintentional oversight on your part.”

I love Jesus. I mean, I REALLY LOVE HIM. I love him so much that when I feel that others are using His name and His words to preach what my soul feels as untruth-- I choose to step away. Do I understand why my all knowing Father would NEED me to have my BROTHER as a mediator? No. Do I know the power of His Name? YES. Am I his disciple? Absolutely, on my good days.
My desire is still the same…that my LIFE and its fruits will be a testament of GOODNESS and LOVE. That I will get this life more RIGHT this time. That others will FEEL my authenticity and joy when they are with me.

This question is pinging around inside. Will I ever be a big enough girl to hear that others are DISAPPOINTED in me and not have it take me to my knees? IS THAT A GOOD THING?

Grateful as I am—eventually--- for all things that take me to that kneeling place of humility and change seeking, I hate the part of me that enters there with such sadness.

And how do I explain that even though it takes me there, I refuse to stay…and that my getting up and moving on is NOT a show of less love for them or God, but a show of MORE LOVE for me through my GOD? If I was Anne Lamott or Cheryl Strayed  through my words you’d know JUST what I’m talking about. I’m not. So take the parts you can get?

When will I feel and honestly give more grace and generosity about the anonymity of it? They do not feel safe with me. Even after I poured out my real feelings. What IS IT that they really feared that kept their connection/identity from me? Is it my imperfect love?  Is it their’s? Again. I EMBRACE OUR IMPERFECTIONS and use them as a mirror into my soul.

Love is bizarre. And SWEET. Intentions are confusing. Clear on one thing. Somebodies cared enough about the heart I layed out to be seen, to SEE IT, and HEAR IT. Thank you. LOVING IT is hard even for me some days. But I came here to get it right this trip...I’m asking EVERYONE to pour your best LOVE all over IT— MY HEART... Preferably NOT anonymously?  And together, lets wrap this life up in kindness and gentleness and patience and goodness….and FUN…
And with all MY love…a thought from RUMI:
Out beyond ideas of wrongdoing and rightdoing,
there is a field. I'll meet you there.

When the soul lies down in that grass,
the world is too full to talk about.

Ideas, language, even the phrase "each other" doesn't make any sense.

Thursday, December 19, 2013

6 DAYS....6 DAYS!!!

4 Days till Michael and Josh are home. 6 DAYS till we talk to SAM!!!! Wowza.....xxooxx

Jessica Jackley...Saint

I LOVE HER!!! I am a babe among GIANTS on this planet...but I am honored to be on HER PLANET!!!!! "The BEST way to be inspired is to stop and listen to someones story...grateful that when I do I 
 am more and more inspired by that person's potential to do GOOD in the world and by my potential to maybe help....this belief in each other...THAT's what will change the world." Amen and Amen. She can preach at my church xxooxx

Monday, December 16, 2013

From Sam 16 Dec 2013

9 days!!
I cannot wait to see all of your brilliant faces! I miss you guys loads. This week was really good! Our investigator Albert is doing really well and is coming to church, once again, I love the chinese! We just barely found out that Frank and Joan aren't married, so they will be taking a lot more time then we expected but it's alright. Luke is on his way to Romania and I'm going to miss that kid like crazy! he's so good.
Tuesday we had an absolutely incredible Miracle that had nothing to do with Finding, Teaching, or baptising.  We got a call from the assistants that we needed to go give an old man a blessing at the hospital. Elder DeBeikes and I were with our Zone Leader Elder Chardon for the day, because his companion finished his mission, so all 3 of us went to the hospital to see this old man from India, laying in his bed, having an extremely hard time breathing and shaking uncontrolably, his family was surrounding him giving him comfort. He attempted to talk to us, but his shaking and breathing we're interrupting the words, and we had no idea what he was saying. No one in the room was LDS besides us, the son of the old man's best friend is a member, and he sent the message to the mission home saying that we needed to get the man a blessing.  So we preceded with the blessing, during the blessing the man ceased to shake, and his breathing went completely normal. After the blessing he sat up straight with good posture, and looked up towards us as if we were angels, and in a very clear voice said "Thank you." We were all amazed, and didn't really know how to react. The spirit of God was UNBELIEVABLE in that room. As we left the room none of us really talked about what happened. This is a really sacred experience for me, so I would appreciate it if you guys didn't tell anyone! the family and friends who take the time to read my emails would be the ones that I would tell this to anyways, but please don't tell anyone else! I just want to emphasize that this man being healed had nothing to do with Elder DeBeikes, Elder Chardon, or myself. It was absolutely the grace of our savior. 
On Wednesday I picked up Elder Unice from the mission home, my new greenie! he is honestly pre-trained. He's super good at talking to people and he's pretty solid in lessons already. We are going to work really hard and I continue to hope that we will have a lot of success. He is 23 years old, graduated with Josh, which is a little bit strange I'll be honest, cause sometimes I feel like because I'm just 19, how can I give advice to a 23 year old kid on how to be a good missionary, but things are going pretty good! I'm just stoked he came out ready to work!
A few of our investigators texted us this week and said they don't want to have the lessons anymore, which was heart breaking, so we have been spending a lot of time finding people to teach, but that's always good as well!
So for Christmas, I will either be calling you guys between 7-11 A.M. your time! so I will let you know better next monday on exactly what time I'll be calling. and the account is donjharris1 right?? anyways guys, I love you so much, I am so exited to see you guys, as during this holiday season I am missing you all like heck!!
What will be the movies you guys see this year? what are the plans for christmas? I love you guys!
Elder Harris.

Sunday, December 15, 2013

10 days and counting Sammer XXOOXX

10 days and counting till we talk on the phone and SEE YOUR FACE!!!! That is ALL I want for Christmas!

Dad and I are just back from the family Christmas Party in Boise. The family sends their love. They loved on me!!! I was able to do 10 Aroma Touch Therapy's towards my certification to train. My hands were a bit ready to rest. I knew I loved to love on people, but I never quite knew how much I REALLY LOVE to make them feel good. Aroma Touch Therapy is a application of 8 oils in a specific order that brings the body into Homeostasis...I think you'll be asking for a few once you get home :) Spencer literally fell asleep and was snoring...I was SAD he was missing the feel good touch of it all. My massage table is portable and AWESOME!!! I am so happy to add this skill to my bag of life love. Laura AND Steve Nickle were both sick and literally BETTER when they got off the table :) Laura might be my best commercial!

I've already posted a few times this week so I'll keep this short. Michael comes home the 23rd thru the 26th...Josh too! Josh got the job at PF Changs in Bellevue. Haven't heard set dates on when he's heading out yet...will let you know. Meg leaves Christmas night. Spencer leaves the 29th....

I'd LOVE to know what your Christmas plans are IF you know them. And what time we can expect the call? PLEASE SPEND some of the money in your account on stuff you WANT and electric blanket? More under armor? Dinner out? Keepsakes? WHATEVER...but  I expect you to report back on what you bought Christmas morning. Your package is on its way :):):)

Your letters make my day, my week....I LOVE YER GUTZ! I'm so happy things are going so well and ESPECIALLY that you love your companion so much. Pretty sure you just LOVE EVERYONE though :)

Happy PDAY...I hope you PLAY HARD.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Last bit I swear. Just sent this link.

Just sayin' AMEN. Amen.

Mormons, Mandela, and the Race and Priesthood Statement

And yet there is more that could be said and done.  Call me cynical but the timing of the Race and the Priesthoodstatement from the LDS Newsroom;  the PR department;  the First Presidency, or wherever it came from appears to be an effort, in light of Mandela’s death, to mitigate for the church being positioned on the bad side history.   Or perhaps it’s just a coincidence.  Either way, as a church we have no right to effuse over Mandela’s Long Walk to Freedom.  His greatest work was as a political subversive and in his  challenge to the racial, political and economic order of things, the very things our church has historically excommunicated for – calling it ‘apostasy’.  So we don’t get to join hands with the rest of the world in celebrating a figure who would have been deprived of influence, priesthood, and even membership had he been a Mormon.  And notwithstanding the  long awaited honesty of the Race and the Priesthood statement, we are not yet that church that was once racist, and is no longer.  Yet more needs to be said and done.

Firstly, an apology is in order.  The lives of faithful people both black and white were destroyed, upended, devastated by this doctrine.  There are generations and generations of Black and Coloured folk who have had to wonder who they are in God’s eyes because  church leaders sustained a discourse that blatantly positioned them as inferior.   They need an apology.
There were those who were excommunicated for their outspoken criticism of the church’s position on the divine order of mortal color – have they received an apology and a reinstatement– even posthumously?  They deserve an apology.
And there are white folk who have been lead astray be a vicious doctrine upheld by white men.  White priesthood leaders who have not had to think about what their own race means in the order of  Godly things and have apparently  privileged their own credibility as inspired religious leaders above their need to put things right, and they have not put things right when they could have been put right – white folk deserve an apology for being lead to believe things that are simply not true.
And this admission has taken a long, long time, too long in fact – a wait that deserves an apology in and of itself.

Secondly, this is not something for the newsroom alone.  This is not an incidental explanation that gets to sneak in quietly on a discrete webpage.  The racial theories of the past were declared, understood and promulgated as doctrines and thus need to be officially repudiated in General Conference, as letters to be read by Bishoprics to their congregations, in addendum documents  provided with curriculum materials.  This statement should have come with an explanatory letter from the First Presidency, signed by the First Presidency and Quorum of the Twelve and backed up with procedures for  dealing with those who continue to teach and preach these spurious doctrines.  There must be some protection for those who will continue to be affected by those who cling to these false doctrines, and feel justified in preaching them in church.  Will those who refuse to part with their racist accounting of the order of heaven be treated as harshly as those who had in the past raised  the voice of protest to those racist doctrines?

Thirdly, we need to find a way of talking about the fact that a few good men alone don’t equal God.  We need to accept the dangers in privileging mortal leadership above the sovereignty of God, and the efficacy of scripture.   Because we are a largely white conservative church, not just in terms of demographics, but in terms of culture, power and influence, perhaps we imagine that the question of race is incidental, irrelevant or not necessary in terms of questions pertaining to our personal salvation.  But there are huge implications in this admission of wrong that now need to be tackled;

1)   Those we had thought were talking to God, had in fact made a God of their culture, their politics, their privilege, their race.  They were wrong.  What else have they been wrong about?
2)   Given that they were wrong and it has taken the Brethren this long to admit it, what do we  accept now as doctrine that might be repudiated in a few years time?
3)   Where are the curriculum lessons that address our need to deal with  institutional and even prophetic error?
4)   Will we be protected in our objection to other forms of prejudice that have been weaved into the fabric of our organization?  Does this give us a justification to raise a protest to this as well?  Can we now thumb the ‘Brethren’ and tell them that they simply can’t be trusted?

Don’t get me wrong, I believe the statement, though frustratingly overdue, to be a relief, and absolutely necessary, I’m not so churlish as to deny its importance.  But over time I’ve seen the church make statements for one of two reasons.  One as a PR exercise to mitigate for public criticism, and one as a concerted effort to teach and influence the ‘right’ thinking of its members.  Without the extra effort to ‘put right’, to repent, this statement appears to be in the former category.  Great, but just not great enough.

GO here for just a few minutes....this woman is helping to mold my heart. 
Brené Brown

Monday, December 9, 2013

This happened today :) 9 Dec 2013

                                                 7'2" , 18.5 inches. Arron Anthony Arroyo.
I LOVE this Momma. xxooxx I relived that first time uncertainty (and second and thirds and fourth and fifth) of wondering what having a baby can be like through Julia. She's amazing. She DID IT!!!! Now new kinds of love learning begin........
I swear, anytime I see a stadium full of people or a theatre or any BIG group of people, my woman mind is awed that everyone of them had a MOTHER that went through the labor to get them there.
Nope. I wasn't effected :)

For Mr. Lenton Herring, my favorite school teacher of all time

So I decided after chewing on this a few days that I deserve to post my heart. Again. And again and again and again.

 I grew up in Melrose Florida as an almost lone Mormon girl. There were a few other Mormon women who consisted of my Mother, my sisters and the Drapers. We had Dads and brothers too:) I am taking note at how that all just flowed out on the page. There was loneliness.

I attended Hawthorne Jr. Senior High school. It was a half hour bus ride. On those bus rides I learned alot of important information about succeeding in life.  Its probably half that time if you drive it yourself. I am smiling again as I think on the literal route and how  I am  so going to RUN that route my next trip home. It will be a VICTORY RUN! I made it through those years xxooxx.

 In the 7th grade I was honored to be taught Social Studies by a life hero who happened to be Africian American. Lenton Herring. He was a Vietnam Vet. I'm sad I couldn't grab a picture of him off the can see the love and wisdom in his eyes.  He loved us. He loved me. He could shine a light that helped me to see the GOOD in me when I didn't think there was much good there. 

 I will NEVER forget the day in I am in the 8th grade... It was spring and revival time  and some of the kids were giving me a hard time about being Mormon. He turned it around for me. I was too immature and not smart enough.  He asked me tell the class about the word of wisdom. He told the class he thought the word of wisdom was great...that we have to worry about our bodies just as much as our souls.  After class he called me up. In the most sincere and inquisitive way asked me why it was that a black man could not hold the priesthood in our church. I told him I was sure he had heard wrong. No one would keep the priesthood of God from him. He said he KNEW he must have misunderstood.  The next day I got to come back and tell this man I LOVED that he WAS RIGHT about what he had heard. This man had championed me and I could NOT champion him.

 I hadn't even known.  When I told my parents about it they told me HOW RIGHT HE WAS. I was hurt. i was sure they were WRONG. I asked WHY he couldn't, they told me it was because it had been revealed to a prophet of God that they were cursed with black skin for making poor choices and that we were not to inter marry and they would NEVER be given that blessing. Then they sent me to this book called Mormon Doctrine. In it I read in more detail. You can go read it for yourself if you want. Its all there. 

I was confused.  My LOVE"DAR" was aligned perfectly but my head/religion "dar" was freaking out and I could not get the signals to harmonize. I didn't like being Mormon that day. I HATED being Mormon the next morning when I sought him out to tell him.  As I apologized for my church with tears he hugged me and told me that I didn't have to worry because he didn't believe in the Mormon Church, and it just made him sad that other people would believe that God would curse him for something he did in some other life. He also said he thought Mormons didn't believe in other lives. (ZINGO) He told me that I had a lot of life to live and that I would always get to choose what I believed in. 

I put that mess on that SHELF just like I was told. There is this ETERNAL and INCREDIBLY  HUMONGOUS shelf in the Mormon church where people with unresolved questions are sent to place and store those questions UNTIL.


UNTIL AN AUTHORITY with the PRIESTHOOD tells you HOW IT IS. Until they PRINT OUT  their now known change of Gods heart?  So now...just a few days ago AUTHORITY has disavowed DOCTRINE in the name of outdated theory.   AGAIN.   Whoa. Whoa. Whoa. Whoa.  And PLEASE BELIEVE ME when I say I am THRILLED for the PROGRESS. 

 Until this?

Today, the Church disavows the theories advanced in the past that black skin is a sign of divine disfavor or curse, or that it reflects actions in a premortal life; that mixed-race marriages are a sin; or that blacks or people of any other race or ethnicity are inferior in any way to anyone else. Church leaders today unequivocally condemn all racism, past and present, in any form.23

SO does that mean that a man screwed up somewhere and was HUMAN and that a Prophet of God misunderstood his GOD and that the blacks could have had the Priesthood the WHOLE TIME????

Take a minute to breathe for those who need it. Please. Take another breath. Now look into my LOVE MANIFESTO heart. The church has changed God's stand on Polygamy, the temple ceremony, on Africian American's holding the Priestood, now on WHY they withheld the Priesthood, on birth control, oral sex, dating standards and ages, temple garments, on women working outside the home, who and what ages should serve missions,...and even in their views on women and their roles in the church.  They are gratefully softening on the gays. I fully expect to one day have a written change for them as well.

The happy news for me is that the church allows God to change. As I have grown my God has changed.  Isn't it perfect that Gods truth is revealed through imperfection? And so is mine. Through absolute imperfection.

 I have children who I taught to look to that authority-- who are in a place of pain with their LOVE 'DAR"-- because of their head/religion"dar". You can imagine the funk of trying to get those signals to harmonize.  And whether they put it on that shelf or like me, blow up the shelf, --it could be 30 plus years before they KNOW what to do with "IT" and my leaving.  Could it be 30 plus years before AUTHORITY comes out and lets my baby KNOW, that oops.....that doctrine of ONLY BEING TOGETHER FOREVER IS FOR THOSE WHO OBEY THE AUTHORITY AND HOW THEY SAY IT IS  was really a theroy that we now believe to be a mistake...but hey...NOW we know that you really DO get to share the rest of eternity with that Momma you LOVE and who LOVES YOU!!  With that Momma who charged out into living in a space were finally her LOVE 'dar" was all she chose to use to LIVE her life offering. Realizing fully the imperfections that will lead her to her perfections. Taking accountability for being human and up front saying "Hey...mistake zone here...many in process...I speak only my current knowing and that it is on a moving scale."

Lovies. I am always nervous with the written word because the flavors of sarcasm, anger, and negativity can be read into the words when it is NOT there. They are not here. Hear my voice. It is LOVE. I am OVER THE MOON that these changes are coming. Over the moon that LOVE WINS!!!!

That is a life rule I can testify to. This is one you can write down...don't worry. I will post it for us in the pool area. LOVE WINS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I also beg each of us to listen to our inner voice and call out the LOVE we know.

Mr. Lenton Herring, forgive me my youth. Forgive me my clinging to what I knew FELT BAD and WRONG. You were so right...I have a whole life to live and choose what I believe. I KNOW that YOU are one of the finest teachers I've ever known. Thank you.

After writing this I was sent 2 links anonymously taking me to the facebook page of  John Dehlin and what he posted on his facebook. They touched me. They gave me EMPATHY. So I'm adding them here:

Respectfully, I submit that a pattern has now officially been established. 

1) LDS church teaches that Independence, MO is zion, and that this will be the gathering place.....the public objects for several years....eventually (after much pain and suffering) the teaching is abandoned/redfined,

2) LDS church teaches that polygamy is of God.....the public objects for decades...eventually (after much pain and suffering) the teaching is denounced,

3) LDS church teaches that dark skinned people were cursed and the blacks should not have the priesthood.....the public objects for decades....eventually (after much pain and suffering) the teaching is denounced,

4) LDS church teaches that being LGBT and same-sex marriage are evil, and that women should not co-lead the church/have the priesthood.....the public objects for decades....eventually (after much pain and suffering)..........______________

You fill in the blank here.

 John's next blurb:

After 10-20 years of thinking about this, and trying to make all the puzzle pieces fit -- here is what it all comes down to for me:

- It's not that the LDS church is "bad." In my view, the LDS church is a "net good" for so, so many people. Granted -- it can be incredibly harmful (i.e., toxic/fatal) to some marginalized minorities (e.g., many LGBT folks, many feminists, many intellectuals, many lovers-of-science, etc.) -- but overall, the good that occurs within the LDS context for many members cannot be denied (from my perspective)..

- It's not that LDS church leaders are "bad." Overall, these are generally good men, trying their best to do what is right with limited light and knowledge, and with a heavy heap of bias/baggage (which we ALL have).

And we are ALL flawed (myself especially).

But if we continue to direct the lion's share of our focus on specialized issues (such as racial, LGBT, feminist, or intellectual issues) -- I believe that we are missing the central problem we face as LDS church members (and instead, are playing historical "whack-a-mole" if we have another 30 years to wait for a new PR statement/revelation about LGBT issues or feminism).

- THE CENTRAL PROBLEMS in the LDS church/culture -- from 1830 to present -- are (a) leader-worship, (b) unquestioning member obedience to LDS authority, (c) the explicit taboo/covenant prohibiting the criticizing of LDS church leaders, and (d) the history of LDS church leadership and LDS apologists (e.g., FAIR, FARMS) maligning/marginalizing/punishing those who question/dissent/criticize church doctrine, policy, and leadership (e.g., B.H. Roberts, Juanita Brooks, Leonard Arrington, Lowell Bennion, Lester Bush, Eugene England, September 6, thousands of other lesser-known people, etc.).

Polygamy and racism were the previous battles du jour (though we still have a ways to go on both).

LGBT and feminist issues appear to be the current battles.

But I believe that the central issues that cause the most pain/suffering within the LDS church are the issues surrounding the misuse, and occasional abuse, of leadership authority.

And permit me to be blunt. When we refuse to speak openly about abuses in LDS authority....I believe that we become silently complicit in the abuse/pain/suffering....because it is our $$$, and our time/energy (as active members) that empower the church to harm itself and others (when it harms itself with Proposition 8).

If substantive, non-piecemeal, structural, meaningful, lasting change is ever going to be brought about within the LDS church -- it will be:

1) When LDS church leaders allow themselves to be exposed to the healing sunshine of genuine feedback/criticism, and

2) When we (the members) muster the courage to speak out when we see/hear/witness the abuse of authority.

And to this, Natalie says AMEN.

Home Plate Cafe GRAZING

Home Plate Cafe
Yesterday was another perfect day on the planet.
Sweet Sabbath
I ran in 3 degrees on a fresh layer of 4 inch snow. It was a winter wonderland. The snow makes the dark LIGHT :)  I hot tubbed as the sky softly let go of tiny "sparkilies" in the early morning light. I meditated on loving. I finished baking the LOVE empanadas for Russell's homecoming that I had made up the night before. The house smelled glorious. I picked up Tom and Deana and we headed to Spring City (pop 994) to look over a 1878 Restored Mormon Home. The 2 hours driving and sharing was BLISS. 

Spring City has a funky energy. It is a sleepy getaway where Mormon artists and polygamists gather to create. There are art galleries empty of people but filled full of exquisite pieces. If you like a piece, there are love notes asking you to please leave the tagged amounts in the cash box. If it isn't tagged you leave the value you place on it.  Spring City is prime Utah desert with a smattering of human plantings and no one has been generous in that department in the last 225 years. Of course this is a Florida girls opinion.  The SPACE, the view to forever, and the mountains in the distance give it its own brand of beauty. Ok...and the see antler art as well as refined art. Nuff said. :)

I had only had an orange for breakfast. Tom and Deana had only had green smoothies. We were hungry. We were on our way home. It felt like a miracle to have the Home Plate Cafe OPEN on a Sunday in a tiny Mormon community, much less  for it to even EXIST in Fairway. Tell me the name isn't PERFECT? Right?  Just wraps you up. And it held that anticipation of having that ONE spectacular food item -- the best in 3 counties that you could only get HERE! (Yes I watched the movie 2 Guns the night before so this anticipation was already downloaded). 

We choose our booth at the back. The young happy waitress brings us menus and Tom says "We want an order of pancakes and french toast and bread pudding while we decide what we each want to order"


It has a name. Tom calls it GRAZING. 

Is YOUR HEART beating FAST? Don't YOU WISH YOU"D BEEN THERE? Remember there are just the three of us. And YES HE DID just say that those would be our starters while we decided WHAT EACH of us were going to order.
Tom says (MAGICAL WORDS) "we don't have to eat it all...just what we want...we all just "have at it" as much as we want till we're done".

And we did.

No germophobs allowed.

 With forks readied and working over the deliciousness of our starters--(which I swear had an added dimension of deliciousness due to the abundance and allowance!) We each ordered. AFTER asking the waitress what THAT ONE item was-- comparable to no other restaurant, she said ALL the BREAKFAST items :) THEY HAD HOMEMADE BISCUITS AND GRAVY. They were heaven. Let me write that again. THEY WERE HEAVEN! I have some heaven inside of me :)

Remember how Shauna asked me to FEEL over and examine inside the differences for me between self denial and self control when it comes to food? Can you doubt that the Universe is crazy mad in love with me when this FOOD LOVE experience is just plopped with oozing abundance and delight into my lap? 

Yep. There are issues with the uneaten food. Unless there aren't. I have a knowing that even if a deserving dog or chickens didn't get to enjoy it, the earth itself welcomed back the abundance making rich her soil. 
I was given an understanding that I CAN eat what my heart calls out for. All of it. AND I can stop when I am perfectly full.

Immediately I thought of people I NEED to go GRAZING with...but Shayne Clarke, YOU TOP MY LIST!!!

9 December 2013

Hey fam!!
So, basically nothing this week really worked out, which was really weird because that hasn't really happened before on  my mission! It all started on Monday, when President called me to train again, I enjoyed training Elder Pogue, but I really don't want to be seperated from Elder DeBeikes, so I will pick up my second child on wednesday, but both of us were really bummed for most of monday because of that news.  Later we taught Luke, and found out that he has word of wisdom issues that we had  NO IDEA about, he said that he didn't tell us out of respect, but he smokes and drinks. We were so shocked. However, He only smokes 2-3 cigarettes a day, so we just had to postpone his baptism. It was sad that he wasn't able to be baptized on saturday, but I'm confident that he will when he gets back from Romania. He will be in Romania until january 3. so His new baptismal date is the 11th of January. It's alright though!
Tuesday and wednesday Elder Debeikes was way sick so we sat in the flat all day--- so boring!! I was going nuts haha the first time on my mission I actually wished we could watch films or play x-box or something like that haha which reminds me! I spoke with a member this week and we have made arrangements for skyping on Christmas,, which is so soon! how is it possible that it's already Christmas!! which also makes me wonder, what would you guys like from England for me to send you guys for Christmas??? a member in our ward works for fed-ex, and it will be extremely cheap to send whatever to you guys, so just let me know!
we got a couple new chinese investigators.  GUYS, I WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BLACK OR ASIAN. I love the chinese so much, they are amazing. They never flog (when potential investigators don't show up to appointments that you set up), and they love learnin about god. 
Frank and Joan are 2 of my favorite people ever. just 2 extremely old English homies.  They love Church, and haven't missed since we invited them to come a few weeks ago, they keep every commitment we extend to them. However, Joan, being in her 70's, is TERRIFIED of water, so she's not exited about the thought of baptism. I'm confident that we will baptize in the following transfer, unfortunately it won't be with Elder DeBeikes, but He will have bigger and better things to move on to!
How are things going with Spence and Kasey? Mike and Josh dating anyone? Meg?? when are we getting some neices and nephews up in here?? love you guys! que tenga un buen semana!!
Elder Harris.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

8 Dec 2013

Suzie got baptized last night. My training went long so I missed it...but Spencer was there. I knew you'd want to know Sam.

I'm sorry I'm short of family pics for the week. Just imagine all of us in LOTS of SNOW. Well...except for Dad. He's in Paraguay and Peru till next Wed and he's in SUNSHINE. I'v only cleared the walks twice but I am SO OVER IT...woke to MORE this morning. Mostly its my having to keep clearing off the hot tub that is aggravating. More third world problems I am so grateful for :)! Will suit up in a bit a go get it taken care of.

Today is Russell Allphin's Homecoming. Made 50 Empanadas to take over. I still haven't seen him yet...but then there has been the snow:) Crazy how we can live right next door and not even a sighting.

I was trained in Aroma Touch Therapy yesterday...similar enough to a massage that EVERYONE of you is so going to LOVE me practicing on you! I have to do 25 for certification. Gonna put it out on Facebook to see if I can't get them all in before Christmas. Too bad it has to be 25 different people :)

Been playing Christmas music in between my Country Love songs on Pandora and just want to kiss the lips of whoever invented Pandora! I am finding that its harder for me to work with music that an age thing? I have always loved quiet time though.

I'm so glad its Sunday. Truly, for the first time ever, it is my FAVORITE day of the week. A DAY OF REST. If I didn't have to run a client to Spring City today I would stay in my jammies all day. Yes, I have a client NOT usual.  I've been doing a daily devotional out of a book by Sarah Young called JESUS CALLING Enjoying Peace In His Presence. Her perspective is that of Jesus speaking to you. She has a gift. Obviously I've liked it or I wouldn't have continued with it for so long. I LOVE seeing how other people view their Gods. It makes me pause and see what parts of their understanding matches with mine and gives me new light.  Many days we feel the same LOVE. I so appreciate the way she articulates that love.  I can't wait to see who Oprah has on Super Soul Sunday today! I am still SMILING learning from Karen Armstrong from last week. I should get her book A HISTORY OF GOD  tomorrow--have I ever said how much I LOVE AMAZON PRIME???!!!! Well I do!!

I am assisting the Nickle's in selling their cabin. Its been a fun week talking to people who are in the market. The inside of that cabin is my most favorite ever...but then you have to wonder a bit if that's because of the memories and people who have loved us in it!?

I am suppose to be doing my taxes. Man. THIS IS THE LAST YEAR I will sit here with an overflowing basket of receipts thanks to Megan's MONEY DESK TOP. I went to be trained in it with her on Thursday and it is BRILLIANT!! so intuitive...and truly...whether you use your cards or bank accounts IT DOES IT FOR YOU!! I feel like I could do a commercial and I haven't even had it for more than 90 days. Our world is incredulous! I feel like the LOVE Gods are just pouring down on me. This week I got trained on Money Desk Top, Aroma Touch Therapy, got to see a baby elephant born, had a favoritest child hood friend reconnect with me, read about the findings of the lost city Heracleion, slid into a stop light in the Sequoia and just missed a truck I swear by 5 inches, had a front row view of Herman the wonder cat enjoying reign of the house, AND I get to type out my heart to you boys and you will have it the second you go to open it. Seems like there should be another word for Gratitude that means Gratitude times a gazillion. Right? Which just brought to my mind the scripture from Isaiah...55:12  YOU WILL GO OUT IN JOY and BE LED FORTH IN PEACE" Amen. I came across this one this week and it may have just taken rank as my new favorite.

With that Love is only 17 days till we talk to Sam. (there should be typed characters for Moms dancing on the table!!!) 15 days till Michael comes home (I got your flight lovey, but Travelocity hasn't sent me the email...will track it down today) And no days till my heart sits in perfectly imperfect happiness over the perfectly imperfect life lived with THE MOST PERFECT PEOPLE for ME on the planet.

GO OUT IN JOY and BE LED IN PEACE....Tis the Season!!!

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Happy Herman

These low low temps melted my allergic body heart and HERMAN could NOT be HAPPIER. Megan is so NOT HAPPY...but yesterday I could literally HEAR him purring out in the hallway from my office. It seems to me that a person shouldn't be able to be allergic to something they LOVE.  *Note for change order on my planet.


  • “Look into your own heart, discover what it is that gives you pain and then refuse, under any circumstance whatsoever, to inflict that pain on anybody else.
  • “If we don’t manage to implement the Golden Rule globally, so that we treat all peoples, wherever and whoever they may be, as though they were as important as ourselves, I doubt that we’ll have a viable world to hand on to the next generation.”

I wanna be KNOWN as a religious THINKER xxooxx

Want to love her more?

Oprah introduced me to her last Sunday on Super Soul Sunday. LOVE THEM BOTH! Had  lovey week getting to know more of Karen, and excited to dig deeper into some of her books. Join me? I'd love to talk through the SIMPLENESS and REALNESS of her insights. Look at her face. I LOVE when you can SEE the kindness and LOVE in their eyes and VOICE.

Karen Armstrong FRSL (born 14 November 1944) is a British author and commentator known for her books on comparative religion. A former Roman Catholic religious sister, she went from a conservative to a more liberal and mystical Christian faith. She first rose to prominence in 1993 with her book A History of God: The 4,000-Year Quest of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Her work focuses on commonalities of the major religions, such as the importance of compassion and theGolden Rule.
Armstrong received the $100,000 TED Prize in February 2008. She used that occasion to call for the creation of a Charter for Compassion, which was unveiled the following year.

Religious thinker Karen Armstrong has written more than 20 books on faith and the major religions, studying what Islam, Judaism and Christianity have in common, and how our faiths shaped world history and drive current events.
A former nun, Armstrong has written two books about this experience: Through the Narrow Gate, about her seven years in the convent, and The Spiral Staircase, about her subsequent spiritual awakening, when she developed her iconoclastic take on the major monotheistic religions -- and on the strains of fundamentalism common to all. She is a powerful voice for ecumenical understanding.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Self denial vs self control

In frustration over my weight yesterday-- my sweet, INTUITIVE, KIND  massage therapist Shauna said to me, "I'm feeling prompted to have you explore the difference between self denial and self control." That was it. Didn't add her 2 cents. Just left it there in the air for me to do with it what I will.

 WHOA. It hasn't even been 24 hours and I am dancing at the HOPE I feel in sorting through this.

Yesterday morning I listened to a blurb by Tony Robbins where he is saying that to CHANGE you really just have to DECIDE--to make ONE decision and DO IT!... and then BURN THE SHIPS to conquer like the Vikings did so that there is absolutely NO GOING BACK.  I was ready to BURN SOME SHIPS when my pants felt like a suffocation device. AGAIN. Those feelings lasted all until I ate 3 grapefruit cups for breakfast...thinking "I NEED to have more than one, I worked out really hard, I'm starving, you gotta take care of/LOVE yourself girl!!!! Weight UP and Weight Down. I'm getting OFF this hell go round.

Shauna is a personal prophetess. I think the SITTING in feelings of SELF DENIAL is what walks me into bingeing. It's my rationalization card for poor choices...I'M SICK OF DENYING MYSELF... ..instead of standing in my true self love, coming from that place of KNOWING that I love my body enough to want only what is for its highest good. I already KNOW I love that feeling of skinny and strength. Also getting more and more CLEAR on the heart versus head stuff. My head can KNOW so much...but if its not coming from my heart I struggle to act. This new perspective feels HEART knowing. This change of heart knowing FEELS like it is really going to affect my food choices. I LOVE my body...and I'm gonna treat it that way.

I am one of Robyn Openshaw's Besties for goodness sake (Green Smoothie Girl). You would think with all my knowledge and our crazy bets that I would have had a handle on this. One more time Natalie girl. THIS IS NOT ABOUT WHAT IS IN YOUR HEAD, ITS ABOUT WHATS IN YOUR HEART...and you freakin LOVE that body of yours and ALL the JOY it brings. LOVE IT WITH YOUR BEST HEART! Pretty sure that will bring some different choices. We will all see. The Body doesn't lie.

I love you BIG Shauna. I love anyone who takes me to my heart place.

( Yes this is a shamless plug because I LOVE her SO MUCH and I always like to be the girl who turns you towards the favorite things to be experienced in life :)  Shauna Robinson  TRINITY MASSAGE Helping you heal Body, Mind and Spirit 801-520-0922)


 My daily practice of Meditation looks much more like the top picture than this one below. Just one more time where I don't really follow the standard...yet the principles work for me. This is such a sacred time of my day. I was thrilled as I searched the scriptures to find that Mediation was in 6 scriptures and MEDITATE was in  14 in the King James Version. Worth  a looksey and a read through. There are 45 total that really address meditation, but only the 20 actually use the WORDS.

 The Deepak and Oprah DESIRE and DESTINY 21 day mediation that they gave for free brought a whole new level of understanding to my practice. I began with Wayne Dyer and Deepak and then some other miscellanous  CDs. I have not yet conquered QUIETING my mind...but I hit upon it more and more often. My concentration has gone off the charts. I laugh when I am awakened and find myself in some far far off neverland.  I am eager/hungry for more. It is what I wanted prayer to be. And now it is :)

 I am looking for a retreat of some sort. If YOU have had an incredible experience with any form of Meditation I'd love to learn from you. We are incredible beings experiencing mind blowing connections and opportunities. We are so tended to. CHILDRENS I LOVE--- xxooxxxooxx ---I am so happy to share all I have with you if you ever want. Its all in my office. Except the HOT TUB of course.
 A little TS ELLIOT on the brain:
It is obvious that we can no more explain a passion to a person who has never experienced it than we can explain light to the blind.
T. S. Eliot 

We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.

This love is silent.
T. S. Eliot