Saturday, December 7, 2013
I promised months ago that I would eventually tell the story of meeting my friend Susan. Susan was in my ward at church, but I do not remember meeting her until I was assigned to be her visiting teacher. She had just had a hip replacement (she's slowly turning into the bionic woman) and us visiting teachers were called to take a meal to the family. I remember walking in and seeing Susan lying on the couch as my companion and I walked through to the kitchen.
For whatever reason, as I saw Susan there, I thought "we won't have anything in common". I am starting to recognize that whenever this thought enters my head it is a sign that this person will be important to me! Why I even had that thought is beyond me. Susan and I are both women, wives, mothers, and members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. We love chatting, and laughing, and working together to get things done. Without even trying hard it is easy to see that we have quite a bit in common.
As months went by, and I continued to go and visit Susan, I quickly discovered that Susan is an excellent listener who has a gift for being grateful. I often don't see her for long stretches of time, but she has become more like a sister, who loves me no matter what, and no matter how often I get to visit her. I believe that my assignment to visit teach Susan was inspired, because Heavenly Father knew that I needed Susan. She is one of my very own earthly angels who reminds me by her example to be grateful, and who reminds me often that I am loved.
Wednesday, December 4, 2013
|Picture by Nathan Green|
A tiny baby in a giant world.
A God, recognized by few.
Creator of the very world
He then came and was born into.
The heavens knew, a star was born.
Angels rejoiced and sang their joy.
Shepherds, awakened before the morn,
Left right away to find the boy.
What hope came with this tiny one!
False hopes to those who didn't know
He would atone for the wrongs they'd done,
Not save them from a Roman's blow.
He grew, one man in a giant world;
Creator, brother, Savior too,
As many went throughout their days
Not knowing the great work He would do.
He saves from sin, and death, and pain
From sorrow, and despair, and pride.
He leads us all back home again,
If we choose to stay by His side.
|Picture from Google Images|
Christmas lights, Christmas trees,
falling snow, a fire's glow,
cheerful music, tasty treats,
yummy smells, and food to eat.
Kindness in what people do.
Hope, and peace, and comfort too.
Thoughtful acts, forgiving ways,
Love woven in throughout each day.
A frantic pace, still moments too,
to think what Christ has done for you.
Golden times you wish to keep,
amidst the common lack of sleep.
All the family gathered near
with anticipation and good cheer.
When hope and kindness are around;
When peace and joy and love abound;
This is how Christmas should be.
At least, that's what it seems to me.
(This is the Christmas song I wrote last year -- but I think I'll leave off the video of me singing this time.)
|Picture by Simon Dewey|
Rejoice! The time is near
When we honor the birth of One most dear.
Rejoice! He came to be
The Savior of all, even you and me.
Rejoice! Hold up your head!
The Son of God came to a manger bed.
Rejoice! For He is true!
He atoned for the sings of me and you.
Rejoice! For He still lives!
Forgiveness and help are the things He gives.
Rejoice! His love is sure.
With His love in our hearts we can endure.
He takes despair and gives us peace,
From sins tight chains He gives release,
When sorrow binds, He comfort brings
He gives us every joyful thing.
Rejoice! Rejoice! He is our King!
Monday, December 2, 2013
(Here is a link to me singing the song. I hope you have a really merry Christmas)
When people went to bed that night
A new star shone its heav'nly light
Upon the quiet town
The light came shining down.
And in a humble cattle stall
Was born the one who'd save us all
The mighty king, a babe
Into the manger laid.
And shepherds in a field nearby
Saw a glorious angel fly!
He'd come to share the joy
Of this precious baby boy.
And heav'nly hosts joined in and sang.
The fields with joyful music rang.
The shepherds ran to see,
And bowed upon their knee.
And then they told all who would hear
This news of happiness and cheer,
The Savior had been born!
There would be an Easter morn!
Because of Him we'd live again.
We'd overcome the pull of sin.
He would lead us home,
To Father and His throne.
Oh, it was a joyous day!
So with the shepherds we will say,
The Savior has been born!
There will be an Easter morn!
The Savior has been born,
And there has been an Easter morn!
Sunday, November 24, 2013
|My family a few months before this story.|
Bishops are busy, and as soon as the meeting was over Derek would be surrounded by people who needed his help with various things. He could no longer help me get the kids where they needed to go, or help carry the heavy bag. I think in my mind I had stubbornly decided that since Derek couldn't help, I would just manage by myself. So, my older four kids would go to class, and I would try to figure out how I was going to get a sleepy four year old, a big bag, and a big belly down the hall to class.
Of course, people are kind, and my Mother-in-law would come over and ask me if she could help. I always said something like, "No, I can get it". She would head to class while I berated myself for being a fool. How was I going to get to class without help? I needed help! Why had I said no? And then, while I was thinking this, my friend Shellie would come and offer to help. Unfortunately, even though I knew I really could use the help, I would hear myself saying, "No thanks, I can get it". And then, after she looked at me doubtfully, and asked again, I would assure her I was fine, and then nearly cry when she left. Even friends from other wards offered to help. These people were all doing the right thing by offering, and I knew that they were sincere, and willing, but my pride just wouldn't allow me to admit, out loud, that I needed help. I could get to class, but it was really, really hard, and I should have accepted help.
The really foolish thing is that I would do the exact same thing week after week. I would go home so tired from the day and frustrated with how hard everything was. I was even frustrated that I couldn't seem to accept help when it was offered. And then, my children came to the rescue. Somehow they recognized my plight, and started picking up my bag after church and announcing that they would drop it off by my class. I never had to manage everything again, and I was, and am, so proud of these kids who, week after week, carried a heavy bag so that I would not have to, and rescued me from my foolish pride.
Friday, November 22, 2013
|Random front door from Google Images|
This happened on two different occasions, with two different friends who I hadn't seen in quite a while. I was greeted by both with joy and kindness. They invited me in, and listened to me, and were sympathetic and kind. Not only that, but they talked to me, and made me feel like my visit was really important to them, and that they were so thankful I had come. At this particular time I had such a hard time feeling useful, and these nice ladies helped me feel important to them. I visited with them as often as I could after that, and this was very, very helpful to me.
I really feel like the thought to knock on their doors was a tender mercy from a loving Heavenly Father. He knew that I needed the people behind those doors, and it is even possible that they needed me too. They continue to be good friends whose examples of love and kindness I hope to follow if someone should ever feel prompted to knock on my door.