Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Papa Trauma Fundraiser

This is a picture of my brother, Kerry, when he was helping me with a big project in my yard in February. He's a big guy with a generous and kind heart, but now he has a big problem. He was in a serious ATV accident on April 16th and is now paralyzed. With two sons on missions, and the type of "insurance" you can get when you are self-employed, you can imagine how tight finances are going to be. I know things are tight for a lot of people right now, and, really, Azucar makes a good point: it reeks that we have to ask for help in a situation like this, but I'm asking anyway. If you are in the area and would like to help, Kerry's neighbors have organized a fundraiser. Please stop by this Saturday and either donate stuff to sell or make a few purchases. Here is the information from the flier:

A tragic accident has left our friend Kerry Ashby paralyzed. All proceeds will go toward medical needs, making the home wheel chair accessible, and rehabilitation.

Neighborhood Yard Sale
Sat May 1st at 7 am
162 East 500 South Provo

Please donate any items that can be sold.
Drop off at the above address at any time.

A financial contribution would be greatly appreciated!
Donations will be collected at:

Freedom Credit Union
815 North Freedom Blvd.
Provo, UT 84604

Checks written to Kerry Ashby
Donations can also be dropped off at the yard sale location anytime.

For questions call Cheryl Sheffield at 801-830-8932

Thank you for your support in this effort!

Friday, April 23, 2010

And Life Goes On

Some of you know that my older brother, Kerry, was in a serious ATV accident last Friday. It's going to be a rough road. Friends and neighbors are combining efforts to help Kerry's family. With two missionaries out (the second one leaves on the 28th next week), added to the astronomical medical costs, the financial situation is going to be bad. The boys are concerned about the financial burden that their missions will be on top of everything else. If you can, please check out the button on my side bar for details about an online auction for the family on May 3rd. There will also be a huge yard sale/bake sale on Saturday, May 1st. If you want details on that, leave me your e-mail in the comments and I'll send you the information.

Thank you, everyone.

Thursday, April 08, 2010


I had a birthday two days ago. It was a very nice, relaxing day for me. The most unusual experience for that day came at the beginning, and I feel prompted to share it.

Some of you know that I exercise in the morning at Curves. I don't usually go on Tuesdays, but I did this week. There are two women who are part of the Tuesday/Thursday workout group. They are women whom I greatly admire: they radiate their testimonies of Jesus Christ not only in their eyes but in the way they talk, act, and respond to other people. Their love for their families and for the people they serve at church is evident in every word they speak. (I must say here that they are not the only women I know who are this way. Visit with the women in my family, neighborhood, and circle of friends and you will agree. I know some amazing women!)

I was drawn into conversation Tuesday morning with one of the women (the other one wasn't there that day). For some reason, I began telling her of the things I've experienced in my life. These things are not pretty--they are the adversities that President Uchtdorf spoke of. It was rather sobering for me, putting everything out there in a condensed version. She asked me how it is that I kept going. I told her that I didn't have a choice. She reminded me that yes, I did have a choice. I could have chosen to leave, whether physically or spiritually. It's true: I could have chosen that. But it was never an option for me. It still isn't.

Then I told her this (and I know I've said it before, but it bears repeating):

"The mist of darkness that Lehi speaks of is real. It is tangible. But even when I could not feel the Spirit, even when I felt abandoned and alone, I knew Heavenly Father was still there. I knew He still loved me. And I know the only way to get through the mists of darkness is to cling with all my might to my Heavenly Father. There is no way around, under, or over: there is only through, and you can't do it without Him."

We were both in tears. We both felt that truth. It was particularly sweet for me because I needed to feel it. It's been a rough go lately, and sometimes I can't feel the sweet peace that the gospel brings. I needed that feeling on my birthday. Thank you, Father, for the birthday present. It will carry me through for quite some time, I think.

A dear friend of mine was saying the other day how much the phrase "endure to the end" disturbs her. Are we merely passive observers? Do we just roll over and let it all happen to us? The phrase brings to mind such images. I've never cared for it myself, though I've used it often enough. A few weeks ago, a neighbor was speaking in sacrament meeting, sharing some of his missionary experiences. He talked about certain gospel phrases that are better in Spanish. "Enduring" was one of those phrases. He taught us that in Spanish, the phrase is "persevering." I believe he's right: the Spanish is better. Persevering implies active participation in the events around you. I would rather persevere, moving forward continually in spite of the obstacles in front of me.

And that is what I will do. I will keep moving, even though there are times when I want to say, "You want me to do what? Um...really?" Because that is the only viable option for me.