Nearly 60 years ago, while I was serving as a young bishop, Kathleen McKee, a widow in my ward, passed away. Among her things were three pet canaries. Two, with perfect yellow coloring, were to be given to her friends. The third, Billie, had yellow coloring marred by gray on his wings. Sister McKee had written in a note to me: “Will you and your family make a home for him? He isn’t the prettiest, but his song is the best.”

Sister McKee was much like her yellow canary with gray on its wings. She was not blessed with beauty, gifted with poise, or honored by posterity. Yet her song helped others to more willingly bear their burdens and more ably shoulder their tasks.

The world is filled with yellow canaries with gray on their wings. The pity is that so precious few have learned to sing. Some are young people who don’t know who they are, what they can be or even want to be; all they want is to be somebody. Others are stooped with age, burdened with care, or filled with doubt—living lives far below the level of their capabilities.

To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility. You ask, “How might we achieve these goals?” I answer, “By gaining a true perspective of who we really are!” We are sons and daughters of a living God, in whose image we have been created. Think of that: created in the image of God. We cannot sincerely hold this conviction without experiencing a profound new sense of strength and power.

You can read the full article here.

I spent a lot of time feeling sorry for myself yesterday.

I need to face my troubles with a little more courage and my disappointments with a little more cheerfulness.

I need to find my song. And I need to sing it.

I know God knows me. And that He loves me, oh how I know.

He knows and loves you too, whether you know much about Him or not.


  1. You know, we all feel sorry for ourselves sometimes. Just remember… you are pregnant… so you are hormonal, which very easily contributes to those things sometimes. 🙂

    You always, at the end of the day, get a grip on your perspective. 🙂

  2. Great post. I feel the same way. It’s something I’ve been trying to work on lately, but it’s hard. Good luck with the small daily struggles, I think those can be the hardest ones to deal with.

  3. Thanks for that message today!

  4. This is such a good reminder. I needed it.

  5. Wonderful message. I can’t wait the hear from the brethren in a couple weeks. They always know what messages to give to help strengthen us in our weaknesses.

  6. To live greatly, we must develop the capacity to face trouble with courage, disappointment with cheerfulness, and triumph with humility….I’m going to read this 20 more times today.

  7. I have been going through such a roller coaster ride for the entire year. Trust me, I’m trying hard to stay out of the hole. I have mounting medical bills to prove it. Sometimes it’s a minute-by-minute struggle.

  8. I loved that article when I read it. I do think we all need some time to feel sorry for ourselves. I’ve met very few people in my life who seem to be able to keep a sunny disposition all the time. It’s what we do after feeling sorry for ourselves that matters. Do we pick ourselves up off the floor, wipe the chocolate drool off our faces and start singing our song again? Or do we stay at our little pity party until no one wants to hear what we have to sing? Even coping with bipolar depression and past infertility (two things we have in common) doesn’t dampen my WILL to sing a lovely song most of the time. I think your will is just the same. I know it is, because everyone here comes just to hear you…

  9. Casey,
    I love you.
    love this post, thank you for sharing things that touch your heart and soul.

  10. Love this story it is so good. Thanks for sharing. Hope you find your song and sing your heart out! Hugs!

  11. i needed to read this. thanks casey.

  12. Thank you for this.

    Your personal observations at the end hit me in the gut.

    Remember the Morton’s Salt slogan “When it rains, it pours!” For my family, it is pouring right now.

    Chad is having a herniated disc at his L5 repaired Friday. My brother has a bulging aneurism and will go to Mayo in MN for surgery. My mom had a cervical epidural block today. I pulled both my quads doing something so mysterious that I wasn’t even aware of it, then my back lifting the 45 lb bag of dog food to empty into the feeder while the 75 lb butt-licking dog shoved me around because he was hungry. Daughter has a soccer game Saturday morning. Son is, thankfully, healthy again. Workers comp and short-term-disability is barely enough to cover our car payments.

    But God is so good. He has spoken to me so tenderly and often lately. He has loved me through my friends and family caring for our kids as we go to doctor’s appointment after doctor’s appointment. He sings to me a refrain that stills my worries and slows my pulse and is better than Zantac on my indigestion:

    “and the arms that hold the universe are holding you tonight. You can rest inside. It’ll be all right. And the voice that calmed the raging sea is calling you His child. So be still and know WHO is in control. HE will never let you go.” -Fee “Arms that Hold the Universe”

    When we feel like we’re in the middle of what my husband so gracefully calls a Storm of ****, God is with us. He is in control. He isn’t surprised by anything. He is guiding us, step by step.

    Because all we can do sometimes is put one foot in front of the other.

    My prayers are with you, Casey, and your wonderful family.

  13. when amos was first born, and in the hospital, we were overwhelmed and exhausted. people would tell us that they couldn’t imagine being in our shoes and most of the time i felt as though we were just putting one foot in front of the other. the amazing thing is that God did the rest–he gave us strength, kindness, patience, peace, rest, comfort. Every nice word that i had in a seemingly hard situation; every smile, *anything* good, came from him. I did not have it in me. I didn’t realize it at the time, but when I looked back, I saw these daily provisions and was so thankful for them. Thankfully, he is working on us through these hard times, and is carrying us through. he WILL give you a song to sing, even if it’s just to “sing a new song.” praying for you, too.
    Here’s a verse from “A Debtor to Mercy Alone”

    The work that his goodness began
    The arm of his strength shall complete
    his promise is yea and amen
    and never were forfeitted yet
    things future nor things that are now
    nor all things below or above
    shall make him his purpose forgo
    or sever my soul from his love.