Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Speaking of Trials: Pies and Saddles

Usually what determines our faith,
is when we witness some supernatural evidence
of God's hand in our life...
whether through the change of heart 
in ourselves or others,
a miraculous healing,
an answer to an unspoken prayer,
and those tender mercies spoken of by 
Nephi ch 1 vs. 20...
"...but behond, I, Nephi, will show unto you that 
the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom
he hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them 
mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

There are many stories of faith derived from the early saints of the Church
especially noted are those who crossed the plains to reach their destination
of  Salt Lake City, Utah.
I recently heard this story from our Relief Society President,about a tender mercy--

There was an older woman travelling in a trek company.
She was so worn-out and poor-in-spirit
that she decided to stop where she was,
sit down and die in the wilderness.
When word of this got to one of her daughters,
that daughter walked back to find her mother.
On the way, the daughter found an apple pie 
on the side of the trail.
A miracle!
She picked it up, took it to her mother
and together they ate the pie;
then the mother finished her journey to Salt Lake
without incident, feeling God's love for her.

The RS Pres. shared another story from that time--

Orson Brown recorded :
In the fall he and his sons, A1ex and Jesse, who had been members of the Battalion, went to California to collect from the government the pay for the Battalion. Winter set in before their return and they suffered terribly and nearly starved to death. The last few days they subsisted upon soup made by boiling the buckskin and leather from their saddles.

Did you get that?  They were sustained by eating boiled leather.

Apple Pie or Boiled Leather?
Each of the persons involved were in need of sustenance--
physically and emotionally.
All parties' prayers were answered--
they made it to their destination.

which would you rather have?

I know when I am faced with trials
that I pray over,
I want
apple pie.
But more often than not,
I'm boiling my saddle.
That is not to say,
I've never been given apple pie--
I have!
Oh have I!
Yet, many of my pleadings are answered
by a pot of boiling water--
as in,
"help your self."

Recently, I was having a time of it.
I had prayed about something specific,
and Mr W gave me a blessing.
In the blesssing,
I was told among other things to
 "be more optimistic"
"to have hope in the future"...
So for the rest of the week,
I tried to think of the blessings I have,
and even wrote that GRACE-FULL WOMEN post--
to remind myself that yes,
I've had apple pie before.
I really wanted more apple pie.
But I was worried I'd be eating leather
whether I wanted to or not.
So I stopped thinking of apple pie altogether
and started thinking of ways to cook leather.
Just when I was about to start the boiling water,
I looked up
and there sat an apple pie.

Heavenly Father loves us.
And we may look around at others' miracles and wonder
where our apple pies' are...
where is God's hand in my life?-- we think.

I don't have the answer as to what constitutes a
pie day 
a saddle day.

Is not the foundation of trust in our Heavenly Father
believing that He is aware of our needs,
and answers our prayers with complete
that He knows when to send an apple pie
and when to send a pot of water
for our own good?

Yet, don't we look at someone else's apple pie
and wonder why we don't also have what they're having?--
 don't we wonder if the Lord is aware of us or loves us
to the same degree as another?
Do we remember that we are His children and that He doesn't have favorites?
(No matter how fascinating I may be! lol)
Can we trust in His love for us...
even while we're eating our saddle
and wishing it were a warm slice of pie with a cold glass of milk?

Thoughts??? Do you eat mostly pie or 
have an acquired taste for leather soup?


  1. This post is a masterpiece. I almost don't want to reply because you've already said it all, quite perfectly.

    In fact, I am going to print it out to share with my family when they come this weekend. It is truly beautiful, Dawn.

    And yes, I've eaten my share of boiled leather. Thanks for giving me this particular recipe book for cooking it.


  2. I'm with Sue. Beautifully written.
    Thanks, my passionate friend.

  3. I am with the others this is truly thought provoking and wonderful.
    I have to say that I feel like I have received an awful lot of apple pies - I am a very optimistic person and I really think I may just turn some of my leather into apples!

  4. I love this post!! I have had my share of both in my life, but have found that the times I am looking at boiled leather, someone else thinks it just might be pie. I have learned to appreciate all things that bear witness that His hand is in my life! Thank you for reminding me to count my many blessings.

  5. Very beautiful. I remember a conference talk by President Holland about 3 years ago. He talked about the angels among us, some mortal, some immortal. I was in such a hard spot then, and I was so bitter. I wanted to know where MY angels were. I was feeling alone and struggling to readjust my expectations of life, and honestly wasn't feeling the joy in my journey. I was listening to conference in the car, and I was having a conversation in my head with Heavenly Father as Elder Holland was speaking. Suddenly, I was overwhelmed by the thoughts of all the people who had given me a shoulder to lean on, the meals we'd received, all the people who'd watched our older kids while I was in the hospital many times with our little baby, the ward fasts held in our behalf, the stake president (who was also a doctor), who went to he NICU several times just to check on our baby, the bishopric who showed up to the NICU several times to give us blessings, and on and on. I realized that I had been making my own leather soup when I could have been eating apple pie! That was a huge eye opener for me, and has really helped me in this journey we're on with our special little girl.

  6. I love this post. I try to be a pie eater. I regularly say to myself, "I am so happy. Life is good." But that turns hard when a trial comes up, because it can sway hard the other direction. "I knew it wouldn't last" sneaks in. I really don't like when that happens. I try to stay off that saddle. I try.

  7. @Kazzy: Thank you--I do believe most folks try to be happy just to BE happy. It's harder when the pie is disguised as leather soup.
    @Little Family: You have had many servings of pie, to help you on your journey. Hugs.
    @PattyAnn: We're all just doing the best we can! Pie or Soup...we're doing what we can.
    @Cherie: That's the challenge isn't it?
    @jen: Miss Independent! Thank you!
    @Sue: You are so kind! Just passing along what I'm learning on the way. Hoping it helps anyone else other than myself.

  8. I love this post. I recently heard that story as well. I think most of my life I have had pie. I am sure I have had leather as well, but thankfully I don't remember those times very much. I seem to forget the bad things. I have decided that is God's way of being merciful. :-)

  9. That's a really interesting way to look at it. I'm pretty sure sometimes we walk right past the apple pie and rip apart our saddle. :)

  10. I think when we look hard enough, the apple pie is, more often than not, there. This summer was that way for us since my husband's summer classes got cancelled and we had NO income. Somehow we survived, and sometimes we had to eat our saddles. But mostly? There was always apple pie to be had. I really learned a lot about tender mercies and miracles.

  11. I have definitely learned that the apple pie is usually there, but that I don't always see it. Tender mercies, even during the difficult trials. That's how it's been in my life, when I open my eyes to it.

  12. I have learned to look for tender mercies myself when wading through the deepest water. At first I didn't, couldn't see them. But they are there every day, that isn't a cliche...lovely, lovely post (as usual)

  13. Hi Momza! I came over from Sue's site and I love your post! I think apple pie will now be my favorite choice and I will always try to choose it over the leather! I also try to remember that mercy is getting less than I deserve and grace is getting more.


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