Thursday, July 06, 2017

Forgiveness

I have always been terrible about forgiving.  It takes awhile for my "mad" to wear off, and even then, I feel like I have a memory like an elephant.  I remember the offense for a long time, and often think about it.  My husband is just the opposite.  He gets over anger quickly, and then promptly forgets the offense.  Weeks later he can't remember the details, while I remember every word.

Recently we had a very offensive thing happen with a neighbor.  Certain offemsive comments were made to us.  In the moment, I tried to be tolerant.  I tried to be long suffering,  I tried to bite my tongue and keep the peace.  My daughter was in the next room, and came out and put the person in their place.  Part of me wanted to just try to keep the peace.  Part of me was cheering my daughter on.  You would think that after that flare up, and after my stating our position, that would be the end of the problem.  But no, the neighbor went on to be offensive to my sons while we were in China for a month.  I wrote an email to the neighbors.  I started out trying to be tactful, but I have to admit that my anger came out and I wrote a few sharp things.  The neighbor replied, and said they never meant to be offensive.  But honestly, it wasn't much of an apology.

In our scriptures, we are taught that we can "reprove at times with sharpness"but show an "increase of love" thereafter.   (Not an exact quote). I did write an email thanking this neighbor for something nice they did for me.  I also have greeted her when I have seen her.  But that's as far as it has gone,  frankly, I think we are both trying to avoid each other.

One of my problems with forgiveness in this situation is that now I don't trust them.  They have revealed themselves to me, and I haven't liked what I saw.  This is perhaps the hardest thing about forgiveness that is hardest for me.  I might be able to accept them as friends again, but I will probably always keep them at a distance.

So as I've been thinking about this, I thought of the dog training done by Cesar Milan.  One thing he does is provide psychological exercises for the dogs.  For example, he makes them lay in a calm state while listening to loud noises that frighten them.  As the dogs practice these exercises, it is amazing how quickly they overcome their fears and bad behavior.  I've begun to look at these experiences with my neighbor as a psychological exercise for us.  It helps me to think of this as an opportunity for me to learn to forgive.  I'm still struggling with the forgiving part, but thinking of this as a sort of spiritual exercise has helped me to look at these neighbors differently.  I'm not a person that lets go of things easily.  Call it tenacity, or stubbornness, or just pride, but I tend to hang on to things.   I would like to learn to be able to wholely forgive and forget.  How does a person get things out of their mind?  If you have any suggestions, please pass them on.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

Sinofied

I'm not even sure if "sinofied" is a real word.  But to me, the meaning is "to become Chinese".  I feel like in many ways I have become "sinofied".

One of the things I first noticed after coming back to China is how normal everything seems to me.  I went to a grocery store, and things I would have never bought before looked good to me now.  It so easy to sink back in to every day life here.

I look forward to eating the food.  I happened to mention at church that I haven't really been cooking during this visit.  The woman at church said incredulously, "What do you eat?!"  I was kind of dumbfounded, and plainly answered, "Chinese food....".  I love Chinese food, and I can't imagine not liking it.  I was talking to a friend who has been to China several times.  Her husband led a touring group from BYU.  Another friend asked us both, "Is Chinese food good?"  She and I answered at the same time.  I answered "Yes!" and she answered,"No!"  I told her that one reason she probably didn't like it was that she spent a lot of time at resorts.  My experience with resorts is that their food isn't very good.  I told her that if she went to a regular restaurant, she would like the food.  But later she did say to me, "Me and China don't mix."

I have to admit that I didn't always feel about China the way I do now.  As a new missionary, there were many things I wasn't used to.  Back in those days, cilantro wasn't really a part of the American diet.  When I first ate it in Taiwan, I didn't like it.  But through the years I have developed a love for it.  There are many other things about the culture that although I wouldn't choose to live them, I understand them and can accept them.

Although I might understand the culture, there are still things that I haven't really incorporated in to my psyche.  Let me give you an example.  The other night we went out with some friends to a part of "Old Su Zhou".  My husband, and the other man had a conference call they needed to attend by phone, so they went to a nearby McDonald's to find a quiet place to have their conference.  Me and the other co-worker, a woman, walked around the square window shopping.  While we walked, I mentioned to her that I hadn't been able to find any greeting cards in SuZhou.  I wanted to send some thank you notes to some people back in the States.  Today she is flying back to her home in Singapore.  This morning my husband remembered she had given him a small package for me.  It was a sack with some Chinese greeting cards in it!  The Chinese are so good at doing this.  I know they do it, but I have never really made it part of my thinking, so it didn't even occur to me to buy a present for her.

I guess you can take the American out of America, but you can't take America out of the American.  But I do think that China is sinking it's way in a drop at a time.  I do think I"m slowly becoming "sinofied".


Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's Back to China I Go

I just got a VPN so that I can access my blog and Facebook, Pinterest etc.  I tried to get one on my iPad, but I could never get it to work.  I feel sad for people in China who don't have access to the wonderful sites and blogs that I regularly view.  I feel sad that they don't have access to as much information.

We are presently in SuZhou, Jiangsu, China.  I think this is the most beautiful city I've ever seen in China.  It was designed with the help of Singapore, and is considered a model for the rest of China.  In addition, the area where we are staying isn't quite as densely populated, so has much less traffic, and is cleaner.  Oh that all of China could be this way!

I'm still trying to adjust to life here.  My main problem is figuring out what to do all day.  I usually go out shopping in the mornings.  There is a vegetable market about a block away.  There is a grocery store right by it.  Then I come home and eat lunch.  I am taking an independent study class, but honestly I don't have the patience to spend hours and hours a day with it.  But I am working my way through the class slowly.  I still have a little jet lag, so usually take a nap in the afternoon.  Also, we have been getting a lot of phone calls from the U.S. during the middle of the night, so we aren't sleeping well.  We have had some family issues that we have had to deal with concerning my husband's brother who was involved in a wreck with a scooter my husband gave him to use.  In the evenings after my husband gets home, we usually walk a block or two to find a restaurant to eat dinner.  Eating out in China is inexpensive, and is really good.  So that's pretty much how my days go.

Tonight's dinner was unusual.  The speciality of the restaurant is a congee dish that is served with meat and vegetables in it.  We ordered some vegetables, shrimp spring rolls, and beef to go with it.  We were sitting right next to the fish tanks.  They have fish, shrimp etc. in big glass tanks.  Every few minutes the chef would come out and get some of the shrimp, or a fish to cook.  So we were just sitting there when all of the sudden a fish leapt out of the tank!  It was flopping on the floor right next to me, but no one but us seemed to even notice!  I called out to the waitress.  She came quickly over, smiling, and grabbed a net to put the fish back in the tank.  Pretty funny!

We have run in to some funny signs too.  One restaurant had the name "Toilet".  I am wondering if they meant "Towlette" or something.  Someone needs a refund on their translation.  

And this drink shop chose the name "Fly juice", when I think their meaning had more to do with the verb, than the noun.  We chose a passion fruit juice that had big black seeds in it.  It was a little too much like real fly juice.....


And the adventure continues....


Thursday, May 04, 2017

Losing Mom

The first of April my siblings and I made the decision to put my mother in a care center.  Her care was getting beyond me.  Her dementia had progressed greatly in the past few months, and there were times I wondered just how much she was aware of her surroundings.  Usually she would respond to me, and she was still "there".  But there were a couple of times that she wasn't, and didn't respond.  Putting her in a care center was EXTREMELY difficult.  We all felt so much guilt.  Some people asked if one of my siblings could take her for awhile.  Yes, theoretically they could have, but honestly, if her care was getting beyond me, it was also getting beyond them.  The care center people assured us we had made the right decision, and felt that she was one of the people who needed a care center most.

As I dealt with the guilt of putting her in the care center, one day I had a thought that really helped me.  It occurred to me that those feelings of guilt and feeling bad for my mother were actually feelings that are pleasing to God.  Feeling empathy, and pain for another person are godly feelings.  I ran across a scripture while reading the Book of Mormon:

Jacob 2:And also it grieveth me that I must use so much boldness of speech concerning you, before your wives and your children, many of whose feelings are exceedingly tender and chaste and delicate before God, which thing is pleasing unto God;

How would God feel if we didn't care about putting our mother in a care center?  If we had no regret at all, what would that say about us as children? My thinking is that feelings of empathy and concern are godly feelings and even though they might be painful, we should feel blessed to have the ability to feel them.


After three weeks of being in the care center, a great blessing happened in that my mother passed away.  Her dementia had progressed to the point that she was having difficulty swallowing.  Evidently, she aspirated something.  The care center called my sister, who lives 30 minutes away.  But my mother died before she could get there.  In my religious beliefs, and from experiences of family members who have died, I believe that loved ones come to "get" a person when they die.  I have no doubt my father came to get my mother's spirit.  Did she die alone?  Absolutely not.  And not to mention that my mother had done a lot of geneology and had come to know many ancestors who died before she was even born.  I'm sure a fair few of them were there as well to welcome her to the world of spirits.


As for me, I feel that because of her dementia, I lost my mother several years ago.  The person I cared for was not the person I have known all my life.  Our family has been grieving for years, so her death is just a release.  I feel relieved for her, that she doesn't have to live with a demented mind, and live in an unfamiliar care center.  And I feel relief for my family who no longer have to worry about her and wonder if she is okay.  We know she is with my father, her parents and siblings, and a daughter that only lived a short time whom she never met.  She lived a great life, and now can celebrate in heaven. 


Friday, April 28, 2017

Sewing Basket

Just a follow up to my last video.  I mistakenly said that I got this new prize at the craft store.  I actually got it at the thrift store.  I hit the jack pot!  Woo Hoo!

If you would rather watch it on Vimeo, click here.  For some reason, the video doesn't fit on blogger.  So clicking that link would probably be a better way to view it.


Movie on 4-28-17 at 9.11 PM from

Friday, April 21, 2017

Craft Room Tour

I'm finally getting around to sharing a tour of my craft studio.  Sorry the sound is a little crazy at first.  I'm still learning how to do this.  I tried using my phone, but couldn't figure out how to upload the video.  So I finally used my laptop to film, and uploaded it to Vimeo.  I hope this works.
This size doesn't fit very well....any suggestions?
Here is the link.  It would be better to view here.  https://vimeo.com/214233375


Movie on 4-19-17 at 5.14 PM from Delores DeVictoria on Vimeo.


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

SNAPCHAT Addiction

I've discovered the wonderful world of SNAPCHAT Filters.  Watch out world!