Gift from a Mormon Friend

Like many of you, I have been spending time in COVID-19 lockdown going through old boxes and bins, sorting and cleaning and trying to bring some order to the accumulation of decades. And, again probably like many of you, I have found treasures in the boxes and bins.

One of the treasures I found this week was the inscription that a friend wrote to me in a copy of The Book of Mormon that she gave me. My friend, Mary, had been a teaching colleague and my sons’ elementary school music teacher. She was an extraordinary music teacher – but beyond her skills and talents as a music teacher, Mary was one of the most kind and loving people I have ever known. She radiated joy and warmth.

Mary was (and still is) a Mormon (LDS) and her religion is an important part of who she is. When she entrusted me with a copy of The Book of Mormon, I felt really honored and privileged by her gesture. I made an effort to read the book when she first gave it to me, but, for whatever reason, I was never able to get very far into it. Her inscription in the book meant a lot to me, though. The inscription came from a place of love – and, for me, it was the most important part of her gift. Mary wrote:
Dear Karen (and family)
While working with you at Edison School I have come to love and appreciate you for the special person you are.

I tried to think what I might give you to show my appreciation for our friendship. This book is the most precious thing I could think of…

I so appreciate Mary’s courage in giving me a book that meant so much to her. I think she is a wonderful representative of her beliefs and faith.

I enjoy learning how other people see the world. I enjoy seeing other perspectives. I’ve never been one of those people who felt the need for everyone else to believe exactly as I believe about stuff. I figure, in the end, no matter what path we take, we’re all going to end up in the same place, anyway – living in Love.

“A purpose of human life, no matter who is controlling it, is to love whoever is around to be loved.”
– Kurt Vonnegut

Go Outside and Look at the Stars

If you have a clear sky tonight go outside and take a gander at the stars. From our home, Venus looks HUGE tonight. The frogs are just starting to make their music. There’s peace and beauty all around us.

The stars help put everything in perspective for me. The universe is so much bigger than our problems – and I find that oddly reassuring. I always say hi to Mom when I look at the stars. And now I say hi to Dad, too.
– Karen

“The stars make night beautiful, and the leaflet turns naturally towards the light.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

Blue Cosmos (photo by Karen Molenaar Terrell)

I Exist for Love

I was made by Love
Made for Love
Made to do the will of Love
and to fulfill Love’s purpose
That is why I’m here
and when I realize that
it changes EVERYTHING
In an instant everything shifts –
my thoughts take wing
I feel them lift and join with
something bigger than me
and it’s no longer about my
desires, my wants, my
complaints big and small.
None of that matters at all.
I exist for Love.
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

love-hath-made

“In the Eyes of Most of Us”

When I read “your two thinkers are very
discredited in the eyes of most of us” 
after a friend had posted a story on poverty
in America I found myself sitting here
with a frown between my brows, 
trying to puzzle it out.

Who are “the most of us” of which you
speak? Most of who? Most of whom?
And are you including me in your us?
Because I actually want to read what
my friend has to share about poverty
in America. I might learn something new.

Complacent, comfortable, isolated, insulated,
we sit each in our homes, assuming
everyone thinks exactly the same way
we do. We turn our televisions on to
the usual channels and listen to the same
old perspectives, and nod our heads

in contented, unquestioning agreement.
And our ponds grow stagnant without fresh,
tumbling brooks stirring up the waters
our joints get calcified and rigid as we sit
in our easy chairs, nodding our heads, lulled
by the same phrases parroted over and over…
– Karen Molenaar Terrell

“The time for thinkers has come. Truth, independent of doctrines and time-honored systems, knocks at the portal of humanity. Contentment with the past and the cold conventionality of materialism are crumbling away.”
– Mary Baker Eddy

most-of-us