Monday, February 6, 2017

Little Things are Big

sparrows
google images

I feel like I've had way too many of "those days" lately.  The days where the alarm goes off and I want to groan, and hide under the covers.  I often wake up with headaches, or just so exhausted that once I sit down it's a major production to get myself back up again.  I get the kids off to school, and find myself climbing back into bed.

Even when I manage to make a menu, and buy the food for it, most days the meal goes unmade and everyone ends up fending for themselves -- again.  I have many good moments during my days, and usually a nap because I can't stay awake, but there are days when I let discouragement get the best of me.  I cry over the things I can't manage to do, and forget to notice all of the good things I do manage to get accomplished -- which is probably a lot more than this paragraph makes it sound like.

It was a day like this last week, that started off feeling so difficult, that I realized again what a big difference little things can make.  My family loves me (which is huge).  They hug me, and try their best to help me.  They let me know that I am not alone and that they can help.  They don't even complain when dinner doesn't really exist again.

The beauty outside helps.  Right now the piles of melting snow might not be gorgeous, but the birds that come to my bird feeder are fun to watch, and I like to remember that Jesus knows when a sparrow falls and is aware of me during all of the good times and the bad.

On a super hard day last week I went to Walmart and had the hardest time getting anyone to smile at me (I always try to get people to smile at me), but when I walked into one aisle the worker there gave me a huge grin and asked if I needed help.  I was buying bathroom cleaner, which was right at eye level, so no, I didn't need help with that -- but the smile helped!

Texts, phone calls, books, smiles, kind words, and my children laughing can all be considered little things -- but little things really are big when it comes to making a difference.  Little things can change one of "those days" into a truly happy one.  The really hard morning last week actually morphed into a great day all because of the little things.

Monday, January 30, 2017

Being a Mentor for Christ


*This is another blog I wrote a few years ago and never posted -- though I edited some of it out to make it shorter.
This is obviously an old picture, but I love it!
This is before I got glasses and when Dan was still little.  Maybe 9 years ago!

While I drove to the allergist for shots I listened to a man talk about how it is good to be a Christian, and it is good to be a diligent, serving Christian, but that the most important thing we can do is to mentor someone else so that they can become, perhaps, an even better Christian than we are.

Where do we go to find these people to mentor?  He suggested that, most of the time, we need look no farther than our own home.  He used his wife as an example of a mentor for Christ.  She had several opportunities to speak to many women across the country, but she kept turning down the opportunities.  When he asked her why, she told him that she might affect a lot of women for good a little bit, but that she felt she could have the greatest impact in life by being home, and teaching her children well.

If she can teach her children well who their Lord is, how great His love is, and where to turn for answers and help, she will have affected generations of people, and perhaps affected a much greater change than she would have made by speaking to many people once. 

This made me think of my own children, who are growing up at an alarming rate.  I have such good children, but it is not good if I assume that they know things just because I do, and we live in the same house!  I'm afraid I do that too often.  I had not thought of teaching my children in the terms that he used, but I do hope to be a good mentor for Christ, helping my children know how to safely make it home to Heavenly Father.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Being Invisible

**I wrote this almost exactly 3 years ago.  I just found it in my drafts on Blogger and decided it was worth publishing.

One day when I was in the kitchen I said something to Derek, who was watching television.  He didn't hear me.  Immediately the words  "Do you ever feel invisible?"  popped into my head.  Now, in Derek's defense, I do not have a powerful voice and I am well aware that he has great powers of concentration when he is doing something, and that I have to say his name and get his attention first, or I might as well speak to the refrigerator.  Still, that did set off some thinking about feeling invisible. 

I can still remember the hurt I felt as a high school student when someone would interrupt me as though I hadn't been in the middle of speaking, and nobody even seemed to notice that I hadn't finished my thought.

Though sometimes I might wish for a little invisibility, mostly I want people to see me.  It can be frustrating to work, and work, without that work ever being noticed (out loud), or to have a great idea, that nobody else seems to think is so great.

Then, in what could be considered a coincidence, I happened to see a book at the library called The Invisible Woman.  It is a little short book, which I have already finished, and which I thoroughly enjoyed.  It gave me good things to think about, and I always enjoy that.

One important thought that the author shared is that, though we may feel like we are invisible, and that people do not really see us, or what we do, we are not invisible to God.  He sees us, and we matter to Him.  These feelings of "invisibility" can be a gift to help us really see others, and feel compassion for them.

I am thankful for those who have noticed me on days when it hurt to feel invisible, and I am thankful to know that I am never invisible to God.

Picture from:  http://motherhoodmatters.blogs.deseretnews.com/2012/06/22/the-invisible-woman/

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Never a Bad Hair Day

Exciting hair in St. George
In our family we enjoy quoting movies.  The movie Megamind has several quotes we like, but I have really put to use the idea that when your hair is a mess "your hair is exciting!"  Since then I haven't had a "bad hair day" only days when my hair is "exciting".  Most often my hair matches this description in the morning, and I usually go show whoever is up so they can start their day with a chuckle.  After that, the exciting hair ends up under a hat until it can behave with a little more decorum!

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Real Assumptions

Image result for assumption
Picture from Google Images
I read recently that our brains can't tell the difference between an assumption and a fact.  I know that I react to assumptions as if they are real -- maybe because I assume something so quickly that I believe it without questioning where I got my bit of  "knowledge".

Sometimes I have negative reactions because I have assumed something which isn't true.  For example, if Derek asked me on a date to a movie and I assumed we were going to dinner also, but that wasn't really a part of his plan, then I would be super disappointed because I expected something that didn't happen.

I have also had the experience where I called someone a few times, and either didn't get them, or got them at a bad time.  After a while I started to assume that I had done something wrong and that they didn't want to talk to me.  Naturally I was upset about that!

Luckily, if I can just realize I've made an assumption, I can ask questions instead of assuming. I can easily ask if we are going to dinner, and  I eventually asked the person I thought was upset with me if they were,  and they were not. It helps me when I'm feeling a bit upset and disgruntled to ask myself what I am believing, and if I really know it is true.  If I don't know for sure, then I start asking questions -- unless I chicken out -- but it is really better to know the real truth and not just a real assumption. 

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Gift From Heaven

This picture was a gift from Trisa -- sent to us because we always try to notice the beautiful sunsets.

Saturday was not a bad day.  Actually, I don't really remember most of Saturday.  I just know that by evening I was frustrated.  I've been so tired, and it's been so hard to concentrate, and I was trying to finish up a lesson I was going to teach on Sunday.  I had done preparation earlier in the week, but I just couldn't seem to figure out anything else.  I finally gave up and said a prayer to tell Heavenly Father that I had tried, and if there was more to do -- it would be nice if He could help me know exactly what that would be.

I talked to Derek about my lesson but didn't really feel any better afterwards, and later I went to bed feeling tired and discouraged.  It was nice to be in bed, and I decided it would be a good time to pray again.  I asked for comfort and peace.  I told Heavenly Father my worries and woes.  Then I began singing hymns to myself (in my head).  I do this sometimes when I am upset at bedtime -- but I didn't expect to be able to concentrate on them--but I could.  I could feel Heavenly Father's love and peace as I sang (still in my head) and thought about Jesus.  The Sacrament came to mind, and I remembered that Sunday is a really good day to start over -- even if it is starting over to find solutions to challenges I couldn't solve last week.

I went to sleep feeling so thankful and loved -- and then, as an added bonus, I had a dream where Derek was nice to me.  You may be thinking "So?".  Well, usually I don't remember dreams, but if I do they are almost always nightmares where people, especially Derek and other people I love, are mean to me, or ignore me (things that are totally out of character).  I felt like I had been given an extra present!  I am so thankful that prayers are answered, and that because of the Atonement, we can always start over.

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Trip to the Aquarium

Dan had a field trip yesterday. I drove Dan and me. We hit a bad snowstorm in Orem on the way there and I was super sleepy on the way home but the four kids in my group were great. I liked the giant crabs best and Dan liked the otters (which were pretty cute!)