Callingless No More! :)


I am no longer callingless.  In fact, I now have 2 callings!

The first is to be the assistant Ward employment specialist.  This will be assisting the Ward Employment Specialist (beloved hubby) as needed to help the folks in our ward (congregation) with their employment needs – looking for a job, building a resume, interviewing skills, and/or looking for better jobs than the one they may already have.

I know that beloved hubby loves working on this.  After all, work is an important part of life and is one of the first commandments God gave Adam: “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread” Genesis 3:19.  Although God said, “cursed is the ground for thy sake” (Genesis 3:17), it was not a punishment, it was a blessing “for thy sake”, but that’s a subject for another day. :)

The other calling I received is as Nursery Music Director, a fancy name for singing with the Nursery children (ages 18 months to 3 years) during the last 15 minutes of church.  This will be a lot of fun, especially since the last music director created several things for the kids to do while they are singing, and I’ve always loved singing.

So now I will be serving regularly at church again.  It wasn’t too hard a callingless period as I substituted as Relief Society teacher, chorister, and pianist in the interim, and was able to concentrate more fully on my visiting teaching, but there really is a reason why the Lord set up His Church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, with a lay ministry (means we don’t get paid) and with pretty well every member being given a calling.

It does help when you feel needed and you have the opportunity to serve others, just as Jesus did.  You learn to love others, build your faith and skills, and rely on the Lord in ways you never would have otherwise.  And the Lord helps you to be successful, no matter the call you get, as it is His call for you and He wants you to be successful and to learn to bless others.

It is a most marvelous and awesome blessing! :)

Hidden Blessings From God


I was washing my kitchen floor last night, contemplating a myriad of things.  I thought about the time that I call “the worst 2 years of my life” and inspiration hit me, “and hidden blessings”.

I’d been a homemaker for several years, and then we decided I had to go to work.  It was difficult as that meant every time someone had to go to the doctor, dentist, orthodontist, etc. one of us had to take time off work to take care of it – i.e. “the worst time of my life”.   A couple years later beloved hubby became the house-husband.

By looking back and to the present, I realized some of the “hidden blessings” that Heavenly Father sent:

  • Beloved hubby was there for all the appointments, errands, and calls that had to be made during “normal business hours”.
  • Since he couldn’t sleep for the pain he was experiencing, he was up as our teenagers came home late from work, dates, or being out with friends.
  • When his father moved in, he was home to spend time with him and take him to all the appointments, errands, etc. that needed to be done.
  • I learned new things, increased my skills and abilities, and made new friends.
  • And now I am learning things that I should have known before but I wasn’t able to fully experience for a long time.

I’m also getting time for myself again, to start catching up on a little of all that had to be laid aside for a time.  “For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…” Ecclesiastes 3:1.

In other words, Hidden Blessings. :)

Focusing On The Positive


I read a book recently that suggested keeping a journal and writing in it everyday three good things that happened that day.

It pointed out that this is a good thing to do, not only for our well-being (as thinking of positive things helps us feel better) but also that it is good for our health and can help the condition of our skin (and thus our appearance) as we know that stress has physical effects on us.

It helped reinforce for me the benefits that come from looking at the bright side, seeking for that which is good in life, and counting our blessings which all have more far-reaching effects on us than we realize.  I know I am happier when I do these things – I feel more grounded in life, and better able to weather the storms and trials that cross my path.

It’s building your life on a firm foundation.  Foundations are vitally important.  Buildings that are not built on firm foundations develop stress cracks and can even give way altogether, as we’ve seen many times.  But when they are built on good, strong foundations, even though it may take more time, money, and effort, they can survive hurricanes and even earthquakes.

The same holds true for us.  Focusing on the positive, and looking for the positive, helps us build and maintain a firm foundation, and keeps us internally on an even keel and glowing bright! :)

Is Prayer Only For the Righteous?


Recently  someone said that he didn’t think he could pray because he is a sinner.  Which brings up some good questions:

  • What is prayer?
  • Who can pray?
  • How do we pray?
  • Why would we pray?
  • When should we pray?
  • Where can we pray?

Let’s take a quick look at each of these questions.

What is prayer?  Prayer is communication with God.  Who is God?  He is our Father in Heaven and He loves us very much.  Just like our mortal fathers, God likes to hear from us!

Who can pray?  Since prayer is communication with God and we are all God’s spiritual children, everyone of us can pray!

How do we pray?  Since God is our Father and He likes to hear from us, we can communicate with Him just like we do with each other.  There are just a couple differences.  We first address Him by saying something like, “Heavenly Father”.  Then we can pour our hearts out to Him, thanking Him for our blessings and asking for things we need.   We can pray short, quick prayers, or long, thoughtful prayers.  Then we close the prayer, “In the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.”

Why would we pray?  We can talk over our problems, share our joys and triumphs, even pray for others who might need His help.  And, just like when we talk to a good friend, we can pause now and then to listen for His words in our minds and in our hearts.

When should we pray?  Alma counseled his son Helaman: “Cry unto God for all thy support; yea, let all thy doings be unto the Lord, and whithersoever thou goest let it be in the Lord; yea, let all thy thoughts be directed unto the Lord; yea, let the affections of thy heart be placed upon the Lord forever. Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day” (Alma 37:36-37; see also Alma 34:17-26).

Where can we pray?  We can pray anywhere and everywhere!  God will always hear us, and has asked us to always remember Him.  So anywhere, anytime is a great time to pray and talk with our Father in Heaven.  As it says in Alma 34: 20-27:

“Cry unto him when ye are in your fields, yea, over all your flocks.

“Cry unto him in your houses, yea, over all your household, both morning, mid-day, and evening.

“Yea, cry unto him against the power of your enemies.

“Yea, cry unto him against the devil, who is an enemy to all righteousness.

“Cry unto him over the crops of your fields, that ye may prosper in them.

“Cry over the flocks of your fields, that they may increase.

“But this is not all; ye must pour out your souls in your closets, and your secret places, and in your wilderness.

“Yea, and when you do not cry unto the Lord, let your hearts be full, drawn out in prayer unto him continually for your welfare, and also for the welfare of those who are around you.”

Here is a link to more information about prayer and why you should take advantage of the precious blessing of speaking with your Father in Heaven as often as you can. :)

https://www.lds.org/topics/prayer?lang=eng

Visiting Teaching – Watching Over Each Other


I’ve mentioned Visiting Teaching before, and recently I went visiting teaching to a couple of sisters (ladies) I’m assigned to.

I picked up my companion and we drove over toward our first one.  When I had called to schedule the appointment, she asked if I knew where her house was.  I said I had her address but hadn’t ever been by there.  So she gave me directions.

Good thing she did, because she’s tucked away a little in the middle of a neighborhood that has streets twisting and turning in several directions.  But by following her instructions we had little trouble finding her.

She’s a dear little lady and the three of us had a great visit.  In light of our recent snowstorm we commiserated over trying to navigate roads in the snow, and how the street snow removal is not what it used to be.  We discussed how long we’ve lived in the area, raising our children, and how things have been going in our lives.  We found we had more in common than we realized, and we left basking in the warmth of true friendship and the blessings of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

Our next appointment was another wonderful sister.  She was ready for us when we got there and had a box of yarn for my companion as they both thoroughly enjoy knitting and crocheting and making hand-made items of all kinds.  As we got to know each other I was amazed at how different our backgrounds, talents, likes, dislikes, challenges, and experiences are.  And it is interesting to see all the variety in each person’s life, and to be reminded how there really is a time and a season to all things.

And of course one thing we all had in common was the Church, the gospel of Jesus Christ.  Being united within this basic and fundamental, most glorious way was the best thing of all.  We know that we are daughters of our loving Father in Heaven, that He loves us, He knows us and our individual differences and circumstances.  And He has guided our paths to bring us to this point in our lives where we intersect and have the privilege of getting to know, love, and watch out for each other.

What a beautiful, perfect, and happy plan! :)

 

At War With the Wasps


This year I will win!  We have had wasp problems for several years.  They seem to build their nests everywhere.

Little by little I have been learning how to combat them, and we make some progress.  But this year I am determined to win.

So in February I put out a couple of the yellow traps Rescue YJTR-DT12 Reusable Yellow Jacket Trapthat I’ve had some success with before (esp. last year).  And I decided to try a new product: Rescue TSW-BB6 Visilure TrapStik for Wasps

The Rescue TSW-BB6 Visilure TrapStik for Wasps is like the old fly strips that were sticky and wouldn’t let go of the insects when they landed on them.

I bought one to see how it went.  I put it out during a couple nice days in early March, hoping to catch queen wasps as they came.

For a couple of days I didn’t see anything on it.  Then one day……….success!  There in the middle of it, was a wasp!  It could not get loose.

After a few more days there were a couple smaller black bugs.  And then again, success!  Another wasp, pretty close to the first one in fact.

Several days later there were a couple more of them (my other traps were still empty by the way).

Then we had some really cold and snowy weather again.  The stickiness was unaffected, and I noticed that the first wasp also survived the weather, though couldn’t get loose.

I have bought more of both and recently put more up around the house.  I am armed and prepared!  I plan to try to keep it up all summer.

I am pleased with the results of the Rescue trap – I hope they were all queens! :)

LDS General Conference Wonderful Again


What a delicious retreat this weekend watching the General Conference broadcast of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  Gone were the worries and stresses of regular TV programming and media mockery.

Instead, beautiful music from the Mormon Tabernacle Choir lifted and inspired the soul.  Wonderful talks by leaders of the Church, including the Prophet and Apostles, filled the soul with joy, gratitude, and hope.

4 new temples were announced.  When I was young there were a dozen.  Now there are 150 temples dotting the land world-wide.  What a marvel!  So much great work being done.

One of my favorite memes:

Missed it?  Go to https://www.lds.org/?lang=eng to enjoy the experience yourself! :)