Oct 16, 2013

And When She Hath Found It

by H. Linn Murphy

I have not been diligent at keeping a journal. I used to be. I have several tomes which not only boast of my entire life via word, but includes pressed flowers, ticket stubs, name tags, hospital birthing room bracelets, and various other mementos which can be flattened.

The other day, while cleaning, I thought about how I mostly use blog posts and emails as my journal. It occurred to me that not only are computers highly fallible, but I don't have a record right there in front of me. Also, there are things I put in a journal that I wouldn't necessarily share with the world at large. And the crowning plus is that my Patriarchal Blessing is in my journal.

I dusted off my old journals and read the last post I posted. 2010 in that journal. Surely the current journal had to have something from at least this year. So I decided to hunt it down. "It's easy," I told myself. "It's right there in the bookcase near my computer."

But it wasn't. Seriously, I checked.

I was horrified. Not only was my journal hopelessly out-of-date, but now I couldn't even find it or my Blessing. Pathetic for a writer, I know, especially since I'm now working on my Personal Progress (We really didn't have much of a program for it when I was that age).

A frantic odyssey began which would span two weeks and several dust rags. I actually (not literally) tore the house apart and put it back together cleaner than before. My kids were vowing that Dad wouldn't like the fact that I was actually moving things around (Set in their ways much?). I found, in the interim, several other items I'd been missing. I looked almost everywhere. There were still boxes under my bed I didn't breach, but I was positive the book wouldn't be in there.

All the while, the scripture in Luke 15: 8-9 came to mind about the woman who loses a silver piece. Through this whole thing I had a running commentary with God about how this was a righteous cause and He should help me out.

Still no journal.

Finally the morning of Sunday conference dawned. I had clothes in the washer that needed to be hung. I figured I could just go hang them up and be done with them in time for conference to start. But that didn't happen.

I heard a little voice say, "If you don't work on Sunday, you'll be blessed." It was a simple little message. I could have ignored it easily. Nobody likes sour laundry. But I've been working on listening to the Spirit, so I put the laundry out in the back yard and shut the door.

Conference started soon and I took notes and generally had a great time. When the musical number came on, I got up to get a snack and looked over at my desk bookcase. I had previously emptied that bookcase probably five different times trying to find the journal to no avail. But this time I glanced over in passing.

There it was right in plain sight.

I sat down right after Conference and wrote in my book, vowing to be much better at keeping it up-to-date. We'll see if I make my goal. I'm going to have to make it more of a priority than I have in years, but it's a worthy goal. It's my personal record. What if Nephi or Peter or Mormon had decided they were too busy to keep a record? Our whole Church would not be here today.

You can't tell me that God doesn't have a Plan in place for us. He has a perspective on things far wider than any of us do. He knows how things should proceed. We may think we have ideas about how our lives should proceed, but often those ideas don't jive with where the Lord knows we need to go.

I went to school and graduated in advertising art/ illustration/ general studies. For years I was a freelance artist getting the occasional gig. I'd done murals for the U of A Genetics department and for many private citizens. I'd taught art at five different schools, Cub Advancement days and Scout Merit badge days, and done book and magazine covers and comic strips. I'd written and illustrated my own children's book. I'd done countless portraits and awards. I was fairly certain what my path should be.

Then I found words.

Suddenly it wasn't so clear that my ending should be in art. I still freelance in art, but now I feel called to write books that I wouldn't be ashamed to have my parents read. I want to touch lives, fill hearts, and bring hope. Certainly my portraits of Christ can do that, but I think my words will have a wider audience. It stands for me to be malleable enough to be formed by God and His Son into the vessel they need.


  1. I'm glad you found your journal. It almost sounds like a test. I'm glad you made the grade :)
    Your journal sounds like journals of my past. I drew the layout of my gardens, sketched flowers with colored pencils and markers, pressed flowers, pasted in my retired Temple Recommends (I wanted my children to see that I had a TR every year) and movie tickets. Now I have a decorative box in my closet that I open, plop, and shut in all my "important to me" items.
    I have blogs, but they're not a running commentary of my life. Just special thoughts or events every once in awhile.
    Keep up your journaling. It's just as important as doing your family history or making a scrapbook of your kids' smiles. Your posterity will want to know who you are.
    Only you can write your story.

  2. I say "ditto" to Susan's comment! Thanks for this inspiring post, Heidi. I have also been thinking about all the notes, posts, fb messages, etc. that I have out there...and how I want to get them printed out on paper so that my grandchildren will know me better. I do keep a journal, but it doesn't have so much of my day-to-day life. Thanks for the motivation! hugs~

  3. That is one terrific story...be sure to put in your journal. Since I never married or had kids, I almost gave up on a journal cuz well who would care. Then I went into political mode. I posted stories I felt were good or bad and then wrote why. I did that for years. Now I'm back to a simpler version. But lately I've been wondering...I had a bishop who did tapes so his kids would know his voice. I like that idea. Maybe you could try that.


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