Monday, September 26, 2011

I am grateful that I was able to speak in Young Women's.

I spoke on finding joy now! I love that topic. I spoke about four different areas.

First, to be grateful.

Second, to forgive and laugh.  I shared the experience of when my oldest son, when he was two years old, threw a huge pot of dirt on my mom's living room floor, and instead of getting mad, she laughed and had me run and get the camera.

Third, to forgive yourself and remember that the Savior atoned for our sins and sorrows.  I told the story of how I was too busy to listen to the spirit which whispered to me softly not to leave a hot iron to answer the phone. My oldest son will forever carry the scars of my lapse of judgement when the hot iron fell squarely on the top of his left hand. I have learned from that experience that we all make mistakes and the Lord knew we would, and that is why we need the atonement.

Fourth, not to compare ourselves to others.

It was a great experience, and the Young Women seemed to really appreciate my comments. The spirit was very strong.

Friday, September 23, 2011

I am grateful for Meg Johnson and her lesson about laughter.

Meg Johnson is a quadriplegic, and she is AWESOME!  I don't even know her personally, but I would love to.  Here is her story:

"Three days before Christmas, on Wednesday, December 22, my husband, Whit, was loading my silver Subaru Baja with boxes of Christmas gifts for our friends and neighbors. It was very cold outside so he started the car and turned the heater on high – warming it up for me because, after breaking my neck almost seven years ago in a hiking accident, I have lost the ability to control my body temperature.

As Whit loaded the car, he noticed two people walking up the street. He made three trips with boxes of gifts to the car, and with each trip he noticed the people getting closer and closer…

On his last trip inside, Whit closed the front door, almost all the way, but stayed in the entry and called for me to come. He had just grabbed the last gift off the entry table when he heard screeching tires…

Whit peeked through the blinds then suddenly threw open the door in time to see our car – gifts and all – driving away!

Time seemed to slow down as Whit shouted to me from the front door to call the police. After I hung up the phone, we both stayed at the front door, part hoping it was a mistake – or a joke – and our car would come driving back up the street at any moment.

But, as hard as we hoped, our car didn’t come back.

Away went my “independence” with its modified controls – the only car I can drive.  And it is expensive. Older, but expensive. So expensive.  And, most of all, I need it!

As we looked on from the front porch in the bitter December winds, we huddled together and did the only thing we could think of: we laughed.

We laughed because we were surprised.

We laughed because we were confused.

We laughed because, if we didn’t, we’d cry.

I stopped laughing long enough to worry about the neighbors’ gifts. “What are we going to do now? What should we give them instead?” I asked.

Whit shrugged and answered: “This year ‘the thought that counts’ will have to do”.  And then we laughed some more.

Joseph B. Wirthlin said that “the next time you’re tempted to groan, you might try to laugh instead. It will extend your life and make the lives of all those around you more enjoyable.”

Thanks to the diligent help of the Ogden City Police, my car was returned just after midnight on Christmas day with just minor damages. All the gifts and treats were gone and we wondered if the thieves had enjoyed them – then we laughed some more.

We laughed when we found a squished marshmallow between the seats.

We laughed when we found brass knuckles on the floor.

We laughed when we started the car and rap music shook the speakers.

And our laughter shrunk this horse-pill tragedy into a sweet Skittle experience.

Of all the real-life thieves who don’t ask before they take, Life is the worst one. Life sneaks in and takes what it wants – when it wants – without even asking if you need it.

Life drives off with your health, your home, or your job.  It drives off with your schedule, your clean house, your efforts.  And it feels unfair. And frustrating. And no police search can recover your loss.

But as we stand in the bitter winds of experience, watching the tail lights drive off with what we thought was ours – let’s turn around and take a good look at what’s not in the car.

…and laugh - we did."

Thursday, September 22, 2011

I am grateful for prayers in the night.

There are a few issues that have been rattling around in my head lately.  One issue is having my oldest son enter junior high.  For me this is huge, I know it shouldn't be but it is.  So a couple of nights ago I woke up in the middle of the night with my mind racing:

"Will he find all his classes?"
"Will he remember how to use a lock with a combination?"
"Will he lose his combination?"
"Will he get along with the person he is sharing a locker with?"
"Will he be embarrassed showering after gym class?"
"Will he be teased or bullied?"
"Will he feel alone?"
"Will he make friends?"

My mind was a firestorm of worries.  So in the silence of the night I climbed onto my knees and asked the Lord to carry my concerns.  I pleaded with the Lord every silly and paranoid thought a mother could have for her child.  Then I released it to Him, and like magic I felt an overwhelming sense of peace fill me and remind me that the Lord loves my son, even more than I do, and ultimately everything will be okay.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I am grateful for your patience.

I am not a writer, so please continue to bear with me as I fumble my way through this blog.

Monday, September 12, 2011

I am grateful for the Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom.

I learned so much from Corrie's story about hope, gratitude, sacrifice, faith, forgiveness, love, humility, revelation, patience and empathy. I can't help but look at life and it's challenges differently now. I love books that feature REAL stories with REAL heroes.

"Happiness isn't something that depends on our surroundings.
It's something we make inside ourselves."

Thursday, September 8, 2011

I am grateful that I am able to be a stay-at-home mother.

I can't believe that I haven't written about this sooner because I am eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a stay-at-home mother, and especially that my loving husband full heartily supports me in this decision. It is a decision that I have made willingly because I know my greatest work in this life is to be a mother. I take this role very seriously, and I  hopefully will be able to sit before my Father in Heaven one day and have Him say, "Well done."

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I am grateful for my dish washin' husband.

Every night my husband, without fail, will get up from the kitchen table and proceed to clean up after dinner. I don't think he will ever know how much this simple act of kindness means to me.

Monday, September 5, 2011

I am grateful for forehead thermometers, fever reducing medications and netflix.

We are dropping like flies around here.

For the past 9 days,
5 out of my 6 kids have been sick with fevers, sore throats
and the dreaded pink eye.

I am certainly learning the art of medicating and entertaining.

I am grateful for my mom.

I just got off the phone with her. I am so grateful for our relationship. That we are able to share spiritual thoughts, trials and triumphs. I love to talk with her about our Heavenly Father and our Savior, and the journey of this life. She has amazing insight and I love her.