Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Apricot Trees and Refugees

I know, I know, it's that tree again!

 As you know, I have a soft spot for this tree. It swept me off my feet at first glance. For the past few weeks I have been watching the beautiful apricots ripen, and could've picked them a little sooner, but I decided to wait until I got back from a short vacation. I thought, by then, they should be perfect.

... As I drove up to my home after a 4 hour drive, I spotted the tree right away! It was time!
Time to "harvest" something for the first time in my yard!
 .... I looked a little closer....
then, before unbuckling my kids from the car, or opening the garage, I hopped out, booked it to the tree ... and yes....

That TOTALLY happened. 
Ugh, I was heart broken.

I was able to salvage one measly half of an apricot.
(which tasted divine, by the way).
I know this happens. But... seriously, THIS tree? MY tree? If you don't know the story behind this tree, click here. I feel like a crazy person as I type this out... I keep filtering my thoughts to avoid looking a little too eccentric.

 As I have thought about this apricot experience, I have attempted to see the good in it.... "Well, at least the birds enjoyed it"..... let's be real... I wanted to ... I wanted to... Send that stinkin' bird into time out for the rest of it's life!   
That's my somewhat irrational solution to problems with my kids when I know I've lost control of the situation. :).. There have been few times I have actually said it, but boy oh boy have I thought it!

You know you are a sleep deprived mama when the only thing you can come up with for the bird  who ate your apricots is to send them to time out.... Good one Cara. :) That'll teach 'em! haha.

Anticipation gone wrong.

We've all been there, right? You plan and prepare for weeks for the perfect party for your child, and when it finally comes... the birthday boy ends up being the birthday BUM. :) 

You spend hours making homemade bread and as you bite into that warm slice, you remember you forgot to add the salt.

You work all day preparing meals, snacks and activities to go on your favorite vacation that has been on the calendar for months... pack up the van.. just to find you have a really bad flat tire you can't afford to fix... so you unpack everything and you have to stay home.

Now, onto a more serious note.
 Far above trivial apricot trees........

Lately it seems there are so many people struggling. I think of friends and family members who have had to stand against the blows of extreme disappointment and pain.
Birds pecking at their anticipated fruit.
 A friend whose mother passes away unexpectedly in her 40s, another whose daughter was diagnosed with leukemia at 9 months. The sting of a miscarriage after years of infertility. Floods and fires destroying homes and precious things. The list could go on and on.
These things are REAL.
I try to focus on the good in the world, and in most situations, you really can find the good. But it's important to know and accept that there are some things that are just
 Maybe in some future date, or in the next life, we will see why that experience was necessary and what the purpose behind it was. Sometimes we are left without the answers.
That, is real. 

But how do we go on? What do you do when you feel robbed and empty? 

I suppose we try look for the good that is already around us while reaching up to the Lord. 
I suppose we accept the situation and accept that it is just going to hurt for a while,
  a long while.
 Remind ourselves that it's okay to cry.. a lot.

One of the most touching quotes from one of my favorite movies,
 "Sleepless in Seattle"

Doctor Marcia Fieldstone: "What you going to do?"

Sam Baldwin: "Well, I'm gonna get out of bed every morning.... breathe in and out all day long.
 Then, after a while I won't have to remind myself to get out of bed every morning and breathe in and out.... and, then after a while, I won't have to think about how I had it great and perfect for a while."

I don't mean to make this blog a gloomy place for a few moments. But, it wouldn't be right to act as though this reality was not really there. 

The purpose for this blog post isn't to leave us all feeling discouraged and hopeless.
The purpose is to know that most REAL people are fighting unseen battles.
Everyone is in  their own crisis of varying levels. I remind myself of this sometimes when some one is rude or disrespectful towards me. Whether it's what's going on or not, I will never know, but I can do my best to be patient as I would want someone to be patient with me if my world were falling apart.

We all know people who are struggling with very real battles, and we just don't know what to do.
We want to lift them and ease their burdens, but how? That  is the purpose of the post.

I came across this beautiful article from one of my favorite blogs. "The Golden Seven, Parenting in the Latter Days" - This woman's teenage son has leukemia and she came up with a list, 
The 10 Commandments for Helping a Friend Going Through a Hard Time.

So in the end, I suppose there was some good to the misfortune of my apricot tree. It was a reminder that some things are just
out of our control.
What is in our power is the power we have to lift others through their disappointments, big or small.

This is a song from an album my Dad gave me after I graduated high school. It has such a profound message that I wanted to share it here..

Michael Mclean's Safe Harbors 

There are refugees among us
That are not from foreign shores;
And the battles they are waging
Are from very private wars.
And there are no correspondents
Documenting all their grief,
But these refugees among us all
Are yearning for relief.

There are refugees among us.
They don't carry flags or signs.
They are standing right beside us
In the market check out lines;
And the war they've been fighting
It will not be televised,
But the story of their need for love
Is written in their eyes.

This is a call to arms,
To reach out and to hold
The evacuees from the dark.
This is a call to arms,
To lead anguished souls 
To safe harbors of the heart.

Can you see through their disguises?
Can you hear what words won't tell?
Some are losing faith in Heaven
'Cause their life's a living Hell.
Is there anyone to help those
Who have no where else to flee?
For the only arms protecting them
belong to you and me.

This is a call to arms,
To reach out and to hold
The evacuees from the dark.
This is a call to arms,
To lead anguished souls
To safe harbors of the heart.
Can you feel the pleas of the refugees
For safe harbors of the heart?

This was a slideshow for the Relief Society, so there are a few RS plugs

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