Garden Veggies

Garden Veggies
Made into tile for my stove backsplash

Portland Rose Garden

Portland Rose Garden
Mike and my 2 youngest sons Ian and Leif

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons

Grandson Michael's Birthday 2014 throwing water balloons
With son Beau, Grandson Luke and his mom Jennifer


I cut this out of a wedding line. I must take more pictures of her.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Tomorrow, November 19, I will turn 62 years old. Getting this old has made me reflective. Life is good for me right now even though I didn’t get some of life’s goodies that I expected, like better health, married children and lots of grandchildren. But,

1. I have learned I can be happy and content without getting my fantasy expectations. My life has many opportunities to serve, to write, paint and to share my days with a wonderful partner. Dwelling on what I didn’t get would be foolish.

2. I have learned that you can rise above the insanity and domestic violence you grew up in and be somewhat normal. I give God credit and good people in a church setting who taught me another way. The hand of God has been in my life from my first prayer with Oral Roberts in front of the television.

3. I have learned that the mothering time is so short that it would have been best to give up some of my selfish pursuits in order to have more time to enjoy and teach my children.

4. I have learned that you don’t mold children. They come as they come. Your job as a parent is to love, be a good example, teach to their willingness and laugh a lot at least more than I did.

5. I have learned that I need an artistic outlet and because this urge can be obsessive in me I have let it crowd out things I should have been doing.

6. I have learned that miracles can take a long time but if you never give up, keep fasting, praying and going to the temple, surprises can happen. I will never limit God’s ability to answer my worthy prayers because I have experienced real miracles.

7. I have learned that I married the right man. Mike is a gem. He has given me the space and means to grow without stress. He has taken good care of our family, often at the expense of his own comfort and happiness.

8. I have learned that choosing not to take offense can save you from a lot of heartache and pain.

9. I have learned that the most important prayer I can pray is as Mormon said in Moroni 7:48 "Pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart that ye may be filled with this love..." When I began to pray to be more loving my life changed—I saw my relationships differently. I have definitely caused some pain in my life. I now see the importance of being a healer as Christ was a healer. But, I know that without His help I can’t do it.

10. I have learned to love the scriptures and understand that they have power beyond their words. I am in my 3rd year of reading scriptures every day "no matter what". The Word never fails to buoy me up and give me hope.

11. I have learned that trying to control another person is evil. A war was fought in heaven over our right to have agency. "No power or influence can or ought to be maintained ...only by persuasion, by long-suffering, by gentleness and meekness, and by love unfeigned: By kindness, and pure knowledge, which shall greatly enlarge the soul without hypocrisy, and without guile—" D&C121:41-42

12. I have learned that the Holy Ghost is a gift of unspeakable value. "...put your trust in that spirit which leadeth to do good—yea, to do justly, to walk humbly, to judge righteously; and this is my Spirit...which shall enlighten your mind which shall fill your soul with joy." D&C 11:12-13

Of course, I know many things intellectually and spiritually but still fail. I do believe that in time "I can do all things through Christ which Strengtheneth me." Philippians 4:63


Babs said...

And yet again, you inspire me. Thanks!! If only we could all learn these important truths. I am trying and looking for my miracle.

Tanna said...

I cannot tell you how much I appreciate all that you post. I hope you never make your blog private because I look forward to reading and learning from your words of wisdom. This one made me cry! I agree, Mike is a great guy. He was a great boss and is an incredible person whom I look up to and admire very much. However, as I've learned more about you from your blog, he is just as lucky! Happy Birthday Charmaine.

TnD said...

Happy Birthday. 62 and yet so wise :). I hope you treat yourself to something wonderful tomorrow. I really appreciate your thoughts Charmaine and have really learned from you.

Sean Donahue, DO said...

Happy Birthday Charmaine! You've been such a blessing to the Whitmer and Johnston families. We truly cherish you.
megan d

Lindsay said...

Charmaine: Happy Birthday!
It's been a long time since I've commented but I really wanted to on this post! You are such a wise woman and I feel lucky to know you; regardless of how well or not! You sure do put your faith in a different perspective for me! I'm not a super religous person but love reading your outtake on it! I actually have the Phillipians verse written on my basketball shoe to remind me of that! I hope you don't mind that I still read your blog; I sure learn a lot from you! Take Care! Lindsay

Cheryl said...

Happy Birthday Charmaine! I love what you write on your blog. You inspire me. By the way, Kim even used some of your quotes in his Sacrament talk. Thanks for sharing the things you do. Love the new paintings. Again, happy birthday!

Nana Mary said...

Charmaine: I am copying your entry on what you have learned and placing one next to each plate at our Thanksgiving table. I enjoyed all of it, but the one that happened to speak to me today was the idea of being a healer, as Christ was a healer. I am giving Gratitude journals to everyone at Thanksgiving also. I am asked my family to not only write down things they are grateful for, but asking them to weekly write down one pet pieve or things that bugs them chronically, and after writing it down on paper then "realease it" or let it go--let all that negative energy leave their mind and try never to allow that particular thing bother them any more. Happy birthday and Thanksgiving- Mary