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Friday, June 13, 2014

Mary and Martha, Leukemia, Women and the Priesthood and the End of the Story

I am LDS, a Mormon, a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.

My husband died of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.  My seventeen year old son went through tremendous pain while he underwent three hours in an operating room, having his hip bones punctured 200 times, to provide enough bone marrow for a new type of bone marrow transplant to save his father’s life.   It worked; for ten months.   My husband died of Acute Myeloid Leukemia.   Many people asked me, why does God take the good ones?  People told me what a great teacher my husband was.  They told me he had changed their lives by what he had taught them.  My husband was the love of my life.  He was a great teacher.  He was generous, loving, kind and always had the best interest of the other person in mind, especially in my case, and he taught me how to confident, how to gain better understanding of our time here on earth.  He taught me how to search, ask, pray and gain the answers I needed to gospel and life questions.  He taught me hard questions are good questions.  He taught me how to teach.
My husband talked a lot about knowing, and not knowing, the end of the story.  One of his favorite examples of this was the story of Lazarus, Mary and Martha.  While we are fortunate, when we read this story, we know the end of that story.  While Mary and Martha waited for Christ to come to heal Lazarus they had faith.  They both knew that he could heal Lazarus, but they waited and waited.  Christ knew they were waiting.  He knew how much pain they were in but yet he still did not come.  He made them wait.  Even in their waiting for Christ to come and heal Lazarus they did not lose their faith.  They did not turn their backs on Christ or question who he was.  Mary and Martha were just desperately sad; they may have even felt let down by the Savior, because, in the waiting, Lazarus died.  In the waiting, Lazarus lay dead for days.  Mary and Martha felt, what we who now lose feel; grief.  When Christ finally came, to them, Mary and Martha felt that all hope was lost to those who loved Lazarus so dearly.  They told Christ he arrived too late.  Lazarus was gone.  What anguish Christ felt for Mary and Martha while they waited and ultimately lost hope in Christ arriving in time to save Lazarus from death.  Even though Christ knew what was to take place he wept with them.  I believe he wept because he literally knew their pain and felt it.  Christ, however, knew Mary and Martha needed this trial.  He knew that they, and the world, needed to learn, while being wrapped in his robe of love, which is righteousness, that through him and only him, we can and will conquer all; even death.
How lucky we are to have the end of that story.  Our life here, on earth now, is just the same as Mary's and Martha's was then.  We don't know the end of the story of our trials; our losses.   We don't know whether a loved one will be healed or taken home.  We don't know why we have lost a job or not gotten the job we want.  We don't know why our hearts have been broken by a girl, or boy.  We don't understand why we have the particular trials we signed up for.  …and sometimes we don’t know why we don’t get the answer to the hard question.   We do know, however, if we are patient, if we have faith, no matter what trials, losses, or our own missteps get in out path, wrapped in Christ's robe of love, turning our hearts to him every day, remembering him, we too, through him and his atonement, will conquer all; even death.
What does this have to do with what is going on now with the hard questions being asked about women and the priesthood?  Everything!
I could explain how I feel about it; but in so doing it would only be speculation.
I do know this, however; just as we as parents treat our children individually, because they are all different.  So does the Lord.  This doesn’t mean it isn’t fair or equal.  This doesn’t mean one is less and one is more.
As women we are given the priesthood when we enter the temple.  As women, in general, we are in tune to personal revelation more naturally than our counterpart.  We accept the responsibility of family, nurturing, and acceptance of the Lord more readily.  This is not saying we a more, it is saying we are different.
Men need tasks, assigned responsibility, a physical connection to the Savior, while we are here on this beautiful earth.   This, in my opinion, is what grounds them to the gospel.  This administrative role, if you will, gives them what we as women have innately.  This is not saying men or more, it is saying we are different.
I don’t have answers to the hard questions.  Really, there is only one hard question we ask as humans; that question is, “Why?”   Let’s start asking, ”Why not?”  Instead of asking, “Why am I a deprived of something, why did I lose someone, why are my trials so much harder, why isn’t this fair?”; maybe we should start asking why shouldn’t we be the ones with the trial, loss, unfairness, or tormenting hard questions, rather than another.  If we turn our hearts to the Savior and just ask for help, faith and peace through our trials, losses, hard questions, we will be given the peace we need.  We will know the end of the story in the Lord’s time and not ours.  We will have peace and joy in the waiting.
Don’t lose faith sisters.  The Lord knows the end of the story, and ultimately so do we, and that is all that matters.

Until then be, humble, teachable, pray and above all love.
Kim Conley, the proud mom of,

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Do I Need To Step Outside The Box? What Box? I Didn't Know I Was In One.

Here we go; words of encouragement for the almost new year.  Yes I know it is February 2, 2012, that is why I included almost and all I have to say is, "What &%$! box?"  Have you ever seen it?  I haven’t, so what is there to step out of? 

Being a religious or spiritual person, if you will, I am usually a big believer in having faith in things unseen.  In this case, however, "The Box" is just a figment of our insecurities.  It can't possibly, remotely or even slightly be attributed to the imagination because it is simply too mundane to be from a place so magical or divine.  Even the word is beautiful as she escapes your thoughts and floats around the room taking you to wonderful realms only possible in her company.

Have you ever seen a mime try to get out of his “box”?  Apparently, so I’m told, watching this can be annoying, since, as I understand it, no one on the planet likes a mime.  (I’m not really sure why; and if no one likes a mime why do mimes still exist?)  … Anyway, "The Box" we are in is about as real and probably more annoying to ourselves and especially to our loved ones, as the "beloved" mime’s.  Personally, I think the mime is getting a raw deal; at least he is trying to get out of his "box".

So, here are my words of complete and utter wisdom (I know I don't buy it either.) for the year.  Just quit being afraid of literally nothing, a non-existent box!  Do "It"; whatever "It" is that you want to do.  You will find that not only are the sides of the box easy to break through, you will find they don't exist anywhere but inside your own head.  Once you clear that ridiculously large dust collector out there will be so much more room for all the wonderful simple, complex, silly, serious, life changing, trivial, non-earth or earth shattering things you have been dreaming of doing.  Oh by the way, you don't have to know how to go about doing any of it.  Just start.  Sometimes my lovely little family wishes I would step back inside my box.  Too bad it disintegrated long ago. 

Are you ready for the magic spell, those few words that will rid you of "The Box"?  I have repeated them a thousand times and I know family and friends are tired of hearing them, but they make up the most freeing, insignificant, little giant phrase ever spoken to me.  Are you ready?  Drum roll please!

While studying watercolor with a wonderful watercolorist, Donna Barnes Roberts, I was worried about ruining a piece I had been working on for quite some time.  After all if ruined, it would be gone, time would have been wasted and I would have failed.   It was at this moment of frustration when Donna spoke those magical few words.  "If you are not throwing away ninety-eight percent of what you do, you are not learning."  It was as if the heavens opened that day!  I could hear a chorus of angels singing. (Okay, Okay, very slight exaggeration.)  ….but, if those words do not make for the most liberating phrase you have heard in a very long time, I’ll start eating candy again.  Don’t tempt me now!

Go for it!!!  I don't see a box, do you?

Until next time...

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Redefining Yourself; How Can You When You Don't Know What You Are To Begin With? How Should I Know, Why Are You Asking Me?

I keep hearing about women redefining themselves at my age.  What the &%$*#!!! Does that mean anyway?  I am still looking for the first definition.  Anyone with me, anyone?  Ballerina didn’t' work out too well; or famous singer (thanks a lot America's Got Talent) nor two time boutique owner.  Never fear, super bridal gown designer to the rescue?  How can one possibly define one's self when there are so many wonderful shiny new possibilities dangling right before one's eyes?  As my ever devoted husband would say, "Ooh, look over there Kimmy, something shiny!"  I get it, I am easily distracted.  Can I help it if you can't define brilliance? (Choke!)

The important entity I am trying to define or redefine here at this particular moment, however, is not myself but the chaotic space I work in.  I keep calling it my office but my entire family scoffs at the word whenever it leaves my lips; so here I am reaching out to the blogiverse asking, no begging, for your help; so if you are out there...

This space where I set my derrière,' stand, pace etc. and do any number of things which include:  painting, jewelry making, getting my graduate gemology degree, designing wedding gowns, thinking about new home decor ideas, thinking about new boutique ideas, blogging, reorganizing, un-organizing, rearranging, un-arranging, taking down, putting up, draping fabric, cutting fabric, painting some more, making more jewelry studying some more, staring for hours due to exhaustion, staring for hours thinking, staring some more; but exclude:  filing or any sort of office work what so ever.

I hope I have made my dilemma perfectly clear and have conveyed my desperate need of your help.  Studio Just sounds so Stuffy.  Please please please think of something to call it other than office.  A made up name is perfectly fine; any suggestions?

...And since you asked.  If anyone does happen to read this very important entry, I really do know what the most important definition of me is; wife, mother and last but not least gammie; anything else is just icing on a very sweet cake.  ....So if you want my advice, and I am sure you do not, have no worries about defining or redefining, just enjoy life.

Until next time...

Saturday, November 12, 2011

A Mom Is A Mom And A Kid Is a Kid And We're Off To See The Wizard!

When thinking back on our mothers, their mothers and their mothers' mothers, I don't know about you but I always think about "grown-ups".  My mother was always a "grown up".  (Something I have yet to achieve.) 

While rifling through my dad's files trying to find his birth certificate, so he could prove he is a citizen for his driver’s license renewal (oh brother), I found evidence that our mothers, their mothers so forth and so on may not always have been "grown-ups"!  I know this comes as a great shock, I would not believe it myself had I not seen it with my own eyes but, believe it or not, it's true.  Our mothers their mothers and yes even, do I dare say it, our mothers' mothers and possibly beyond were once children and by being children it means they were daughters themselves.  There I said it; our mothers were daughters not always "grown-ups" who had mothers themselves and their mothers likewise.  I understand this is a huge bite to swallow, so feel free, take a moment if you must, ponder it, let it sink in, no worries I am not going anywhere.   I can wait until you are ready to continue.

This magnificent earth shattering discovery I, Kimmy alone, have made for all womankind as it turns out, revealed my mother had been a child and my grandmother a mother etc.  It rocked me to my core to know these women in ways I had not.  Discovering this about my own ancestry one must assume, get ready, your mothers were children once too.  Do You need smelling salts, diet coke, to lie down?

My Grandparents had my mother late in life.  They were married in 1914 and had long given up hope of having a child, but in 1927 the "stork" delivered my mother an only child.  My Grandmother, Viola, being overjoyed kept every record, picture clipping imaginable.  My own mother kept very good records as well, unfortunately I didn't inherit the trait.  After seeing the records they kept, I am sorry for that now.  I will do better?  Who am I kidding!

I did inherit two things I know of.  I love the wizard of oz and I love to give parties.   My mother gave me great parties and her mother gave her great parties.  My mother lived in a company town during and after the great depression.  The town was just outside Death Valley in California and they mined potash.  The name of the town was Trona and it was literally a dust bowl but to hear my mother talk about it, it sounded like heaven.  When I discovered this article clipped from the town newspaper which covered her birthday party I think she might have been right.  The article explains the wizard of oz.

Wow, my mom is a kid here and my grandmother is a mom.  I need to stop and ponder for a minute.  I found a letter from my great grandmother to my grandmother giving motherly advice and support.  I need another moment.  My grandmother is now a daughter and my great grandmother a mother.  Her advice to her daughter is eerily similar to advice my mother gave to me, which is eerily similar to advice I have given to my daughters and wait a minute... now I am watching my daughter do what I have done.  whoa, don't tell me; could this be a continuous cycle?  Maybe my mother, her mother etc. never felt like "grown-ups' either?
Happy pondering.
Until next time...

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An Old, (Not In Age {That's Debatable}) Gratefully, Un-Wise Soul. Let Me Explain. I Know, I Always Have To.

When I first started writing The Kimmy Files, I can't be sure, but I think I mostly made it clear that I was writing this for whoever could or could not care less about this blog including my own beloved children and dearest husband.  I believe I mentioned I belonged to.... drum roll please....The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Whew, long one, but that is the church's official name.  The nick name, we are more commonly known by is the Mormons.  Yes I belong to that mysterious cult.  (That was sarcastic.)  We aren't a cult.  I don't know Warren Jeffs personally.  (Also sarcastic.)  We don't practice polygamy.  I have, however, met Robin, the newest of the "Sister Wives", a popular reality show on TLC portraying a more mainstream version of polygamy.  She is a delight.  I met her in a local Wal-Mart while they still lived in Lehi, Utah.  I wanted to assure her that while I did not practice her faith, I thought what she and her family were doing was brave and I respected their right to practice their faith freely and disagreed with the city of Lehi Utah's desire to bring legal action against them (As no laws seem to have been broken{Not a lawyer.}).    I also mention this, because I want the general public to be sure that in no way shape or form do they participate in, or condone the horrible, abusive and criminal community that hide behind the facade of religion the men who follow Warren Jeffs participate in.  ...and, a big yes, I have gotten off track.  Big surprise!

(Props to Robin and the rest of the family.  Good luck in Vegas.  I hope everyone is treating you well.  You deserve it.  You are doing a very difficult thing.)

Back to topic.  What was it?  Oh, yes.  Grateful I'm not wise, etc., etc., blah, blah, blah,.

The reason I mention I am Mormon again, is that a wonderful woman, Adriana Tueller, who I admire very much, was able to get a lovely scripture from the Book of Mormon through my head when she taught the women in Relief Society last Sunday.  The Scripture she recited to us was Alma 37:6-7.   I had obviously heard and read the scripture before.  (Okay, possibly only heard, but very possibly read.)  Since obviously, unwise as I am, as simple as it was, simple minded me, just didn't get "It".

Alma 37:6-7 

6:  Now ye may suppose that this is foolishness in me; but behold I say unto you, that by small and simple things are great things brought to pass; and small means in many instances doth confound the wise. 

7:  And the Lord God doth work by means to bring about his great and eternal purposes; and by very small means the Lord doth confound the wise and bringeth about the salvation of many souls.

To say I get "It" now could be, how should I put it, unwise?  But, perhaps I do.  This is after all only my opinion.  Being admittedly, and ever gratefully, unwise, one must undoubtedly form one’s own.  If we were to cross reference this Book of Mormon scripture with a New Testament scripture, (Alright already, I didn't come up with the scripture on my own.  Get over it!) 1 Corinthians 2:14 we may see that the Lord wants us to continue to be teachable.

1 Corinthians 2:14

14:  For the natural man received not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

As that cool DJ what’s His Name in Yo Gabba Gabba might say, "Let's break it down."  What? What?  Sorry, too much Nick Jr. with my granddaughter Zu Zu.

Back on track, I just can't be serious for too long.  It isn't in me.  I apologize for any sacrilege, apparently not enough to edit.

In the scriptures from Alma, I have highlighted phrases including the words:  small and simple, things, means, confounds, wise, brings to pass, salvation, many, and souls.  In the scripture from 1 Corinthians I have highlighted phrases including the words:  natural man, spirit of God, and spiritually discerned.

As I go back and look at these together it becomes very profound to me.  All joking aside, these three seemingly insignificant little verses, in a very real way, define the meaning of life to me, my meaning of life, anyway.  It is truly very, very simple.  We none of us have to be "wise"  "all knowing".  We don't have to be Buddha, Gandhi, or Mother Theresa.  We do need to be kind.  We must be kind.  That is really all I have taught, well what I think is the most important thing I have taught my children anyway.

 My sister-in-law Cindy used to tease me a little.  I think she thought all she ever heard me say to my kids was, "Be nice."  At times, I thought I may have been teaching them to be weak.  Maybe I thought I wasn't teaching them to stand up for themselves.  They are grown now, for the most part.  As I look back, I don't regret it.  It is the single, most important thing I taught them.  We must be kind.  It is simple. Very simple.  So perhaps, in this regard, we should be a little bit Mother Theresa.  Be kind.  That is my meaning of life.  Don't bother asking me how I got that out of the verses I quoted.  I just did.  I didn't say it made sense I get “be kind” out of everything.

Let's go on shall we?  Off track a little, you really aren't surprised are you, especially after the first paragraph?  Come on now!  The rest makes more sense, maybe.  Decide for yourself.  You should know me by now.  No sympathy from me.  You chose to read it.  No one held a gun to your head.

Let me try to explain the truth as I see it, my testimony.    You must find out for yourself.

The natural man as we read in Corinthians is us on our own; without God.   As the natural man we use wisdom we fabricate by ourselves.  That is why perhaps some of the wise men of science don't understand that God is the greatest scientist of all.  I hope, as mankind, we don't really believe we are smarter than the universe, than God.  It is unfathomable to me that in the short amount of time that written history has existed, that we believe we have even scratched the surface of the science of the creator.  May I suggest God is logic, science, if you will; he is all that we have not learned and therefore he certainly does not exclude science.  He is Science.

I am sure our very learned and, I hope, teachable scientists, who by their own admissions are in the infant stages of understanding our vast universe, are surely humble enough to include God in science.   It seems to me, the gratefully unwise, a simple conclusion, that we simply won't understand the simple logic of his science until we meet him.  While we are here on earth we have to rely on God for spiritual truth, discerning.  We have to trust him, have faith in him.  We can't, we mustn't, rely on the natural man.  We simply don't know enough.  We are infants ourselves.  We must rely on God.

Life was not meant to be fair or just.  We don't know why bad things happen to good people.  That is why Christ came.  He didn't just atone for sins, he atoned for pain, suffering, heartache, dying, everything hard. Everything.  If we try to understand, to comprehend, “why me, why them, why that child, why that family, why that race, why that religion, they were so good?”  Why?  Why?  Why?  We cannot and must not spend all our time wondering;  it is too much.  It is just too much.  We could not do what we are sent here to do.  That is to learn, to love, to be kind, to become better; to try, as futile as it may be, to become more like him.  That is why it is simple.  We trust.  We have faith.  We hope.  We pray.  We are kind.  That is why simple is hard.  That is why I am grateful I am not wise.   We will understand when we meet him. 

If we open ourselves to hope with the desire to desire help or hope from our Heavenly Father, he is there to give it.  It does not matter what peril we have put ourselves in.  You can start with faith much, much smaller than a mustard seed.  For that matter, faith isn't even necessary.  Hope is enough.  Remember, the Lord said faith the size of a mustard seed moves mountains.  I don't personally know a single soul with that kind of faith.  The first sentence of this paragraph was a little strange perhaps, “the desire to desire.”   A person may not know if they even want help or religion, whatever you want to call it.  Maybe they don't know if there is a god, a savior, whatever.  What if a person doesn't even know if they want to know?   ...A desire to desire to desire to know if they want to know, it can be infinite.  That is enough.  The answers will come.  Don't just be open minded, be openhearted. 

…about prayer.   I heard something wonderful once, “There have only been two prayers ever offered.  One was thanks, the other was help."  Enough said.

This is my testimony, many things I have written here are opinion, what I write now is not.  What I write now I know, whether you believe it or not is up to you.  Jesus is The Christ, he atoned for the world, there is a living prophet, there is prophecy on the earth today, faith, hope and charity are key, families are forever and for that, I am eternally grateful.  We must be kind.  This is all that matters.

If this seems self-indulgent, I make no apology, as I said before this is for my children and my husband mostly.   ...and maybe for myself.

Until next time....

Thursday, October 13, 2011

To Be or Not to Be, A Visionary; That, Is The Question. What The.....?


(esp. of a person) Thinking about or planning the future with imagination or wisdom: "a visionary leader".
A person with original ideas about what the future will or could be like.
adjective. fanciful - imaginary
noun. dreamer - daydreamer
Enough already!
What I am trying to say is being a "visionary" (ooh la la) can be a royal pain in the...  You know what I'm saying.  You start with a wonderful picture in your head.  A beautiful dream.  Mine is returning the beautiful me to my husband.  Don't misunderstand.  By no means do I mean the twenty five, thirty or even forty year old me.  I said the beautiful me.  By that I mean the vibrant healthy trim, fit, me.  The dancing aerobic me.  I enjoy the dignity of lines in my face.  I am not without vanity, I'm an honest woman, however, I am woman. I will have I neck lift I WILL, I TELL YOU, I WILL!  AS GOD AS MY WITNESS, ME NOR ANY OF MY FOLK WILL EVER BE GOBBLE NECKED AGAIN!  (Okay Scarlet give it a rest.) 

{How do you do a side note?  Anybody?  Need I go on?  I try to explain the inner workings of my exceptional, choke, (Do I even need to type lol?) "visionary" mind, and I end up trying to be Scarlet O'Hara.  Won't some one pleeeaaase help me?}
For example, let's start with my morning.  No. Let's start with last week.  That is when life as I know it began again for me.  Dramatic, I know but true.  A very long story.  I will share I promise, but not today.  Not ready.  Where was I?   Oh yes,  that visionary thing.  This morning?  No, last week.  Monday?  Yes, Monday.
Monday, October 3, 2011, bypass surgery, scared out of my mind, recovery, recovery, boring, boring, boring, blah, blah, honestly not that bad.  It you are contemplating it.  Go for it.  I will address it another time.  Focus Focus Focus.  Over it.  Zoom in this morning.


Your guess is as good as mine?  I was arranging my pretty stilettos in my closet, la la la la la, felt happy and found myself here.  I'm sure I'll arrive at that beautiful picture, my "Vision", sometime.  In the meantime, the process is going to be....  Who knows...  That's a question, who knows?  ...Could you get back to me?

Check out "A Work of Art.  The Next Great Artist" on Bravo.  I just discovered it.  That is what got me thinking all this crazy stuff.  I don't recommend your kids watch without parents viewing ahead of time.  Some people have some disturbing "visions".

Go figure.

Until next time.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

An Actual Concern; Our Kids Health; Albuterol and the EPA

The following is an email I sent (I know lame) to the capitol.  Yes THEEEE capitol!  Anywaaaay, I thought it was important, and I have neveeeeeer done anything like this before. reeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Honest.

It is about Asthma medication.  Please read and if you agree share the information.  Thanks and Hugs.

Until next time.

Are We Too Green?

  I consider myself to be a fairly liberal conservative.  I have removed myself from either party and have established myself as an independent.

With my address being in Utah, one would assume I am staunchly pro-life.  Not so.  With age comes reserved judgment. 

I believe education is the answer to difficult moral questions as to what is best for each individual woman and her child.  Every human being has a unique situation.  The truth of all options should be taught.  I believe in being open minded and truly nonpartisan.  I vote on issues. 

I hope this demonstrates a reasonable person is the author of this statement concerning an environmental assault that has occurred on the poor and infirm of this, our Great Nation. 

I am referring to the EPA ban of Albuterol.  It is the most inexpensive treatment for asthma available and is very effective.  (I know this, because I have taken it.)  It is tragic that we look to extinguish a lifesaving drug as a way to please a less than majority base; on this particular issue. If these decision makers took a step back and re-thought the issue, they would clearly see the death sentence they are pronouncing on many children, poor, and elderly that benefit from this drug. 

I realize the intentions are good.  The EPA believes the planet will be saved; “Mother Nature" herself.  News flash: We the PEOPLE; we are a big, big, part of "Mother Nature". 

With this decision the EPA has sentenced some of "Mother Nature's" children to death.  I understand the base of environmental politics.  I too, love the environment.  I love beautiful mountains, clean fresh water.

Clean air. British Petroleum, yeauch!  I get it, I really do.  BUT.  I also know that very same earth friendly life loving base does not like the loss of life or believe in the death penalty.  I have witnessed demonstrations against the death penalty whenever it is to be carried out.  Here is the chance for them to show the American people they are not hearing empty words or witnessing empty demonstrations.       

Please EPA; listen to the real message of the base you wish so eagerly to please. Pardon the poor, children, elderly and infirm of this country by taking back the ban of Albuterol Asthma inhaler.  Don't sentence them to potential death for one blade of grass.    

(This EPA decision does not cause me any negative personal consequence.)