Monthly Archives: December 2013

Simplified Christmas


christmas tree

christmas tree (Photo credit: fsse8info)

 

With Beloved Hubby pushing himself so hard for the last couple months on a major project (fraught with problems and major issues), we didn’t have the time we normally do for all the Christmas activities in our regular Christmas routines.

 

Was that a problem?

 

I guess it could have been if I weren’t such an outstanding wife and married to “The Man Who Could Do No Wrong” (see earlier post). ¬†ūüôā

 

But we focused on the true meaning of Christmas and the essentials for a real, meaningful celebration of the birth of the Son of God.

 

Instead of participating with the frenzied throngs of holiday shoppers, which we had neither time nor inclination for this year, we concentrated on the loving project for our family that will bring them hours of enjoyment and sweet memories.

 

Keeping decorations to a minimum gave us a chance to savor and enjoy them in a new way, embracing the sweet simplicity of the spirit they brought into our home.

 

Rather than hours of spending time in separate activities and apart from each other, we chose a precious few shared experiences to thoroughly enjoy.

 

With record cold we fully enjoyed the blessings of home, hearth, and happiness.

 

Even Christmas Day was simplified – relaxing and enjoyable with our loved ones.

 

But most of all, we rejoiced in the blessings of the restored gospel, and the knowledge of what Christmas is really all about.

 

And, as I overheard Santa himself explaining to our two Elders (missionaries of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints), who does Santa work for? ¬†Who is Santa’s boss?

 

Yep, you guessed it.

 

The real Santa works for God Himself. ¬†They are on the same team. ¬†The missionaries are on that team too. ¬†They all exist to share a loving Father in Heaven’s love with His children here on earth! ¬†And that’s not a bad mission, is it?

 

The simplicity of Christmas! ¬†ūüôā

 

 

Advertisements

Offense – Real and Imagined


True or false: A very wise man once said, ‚ÄúHe who takes offense when no offense is intended is a fool, and he who takes offense when offense is intended is usually a fool.‚ÄĚ

What? ¬†You don’t think he was wise?

This was said by Brigham Young.  Why would he say something so strange?

What is it that makes this statement strange? ¬†Is it that the “natural man” reaction in us is to take immediate offense and look for a way to retaliate as soon as possible?

Is this the best reaction to have?  If we stop and think about it, it might occur to us that this course of action is quite a destructive choice.  Destructive to he who gave offense.  Destructive to me.  Wow.  Destructive all the way around!  Does that really make any sense?

“But,” we may say, “what other course of action could there possibly be!”

As we might suggest to a child who has fought back when taking offense:

  • “You can go tell an adult.”
  • “Walk away.”
  • “Let it go.”
  • “Ignore it.”
  • “Kill him with kindness.”

What can you add to the list?

The point is, we do not HAVE to take offense! ¬†Perhaps this is a train of thought that has never occurred to us. ¬†We might never have even heard of such a thing. ¬†So let’s take a look at this¬†choice.

If we choose not to take offense ‚Äď whether offense was intended or not, we free ourselves from the destructive forces and open ourselves up to God‚Äôs healing influences.¬† Instead of feeling all hot and bothered, angry, and churned up inside we can experience feelings of comfort, forgiveness, and peace.¬† What a difference this makes in our lives!

I know it isn’t always easy to choose this type of action.  I also know that it is possible to choose this type of action.  And I know that it is so very worth choosing this type of behavior.

Try it yourself and see!¬† Let me know how it goes.¬† And remember that the harder it is, the harder we can pray to our loving Father in Heaven for His help and His mercy.¬† He delights in helping us choose to overcome this ‚Äúnatural man‚ÄĚ reaction.

 

The Man Who Could Do No Wrong


Scan of initial on page of book in a series of...

Scan of initial on page of book in a series of fairy tales. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

When I was growing up, I loved Fairy Tales. ¬†I couldn’t get enough of them!

 

For several years I would buy every Fairy Tale book that the school sold through Scholastic Book sales, and borrow every Fairy Tale book I could get my hands on at the library.  I guess it was my way of day-dreaming.

 

One day I read an amazing story that totally caught my attention. ¬†It was called, “The Man Who Could Do No Wrong.”

 

It was the story of a man who went to town and bought a cow.  He started home, happy with his purchase, and knowing that his wife would be pleased.

 

He soon met someone selling a sheep. ¬†He decided to trade the cow for the sheep! ¬†Some townspeople saw what he did and asked him about it. ¬†“You are going to be in trouble when you get home to your wife!” they said. ¬†“No,” he replied. ¬†She will be happy.

 

They decided to follow him home and watch what would happen.

 

Then the man came to someone selling a goat. ¬†Again, he traded. ¬†The sheep for the goat! ¬†“Now you are really going to be in trouble!” the townspeople said.

 

Next the man saw someone selling a dog. ¬†“I will give you this goat for that dog,” he said. ¬†The trade was made. ¬†By this time the crowd following him was growing steadily. ¬†They were all anxious to see the wife’s reaction when the man reached his house!

 

They came to someone selling a cat. ¬†You guessed it, the man traded the dog for the cat! ¬†By this time the townspeople were laughing hysterically at the man. ¬†“You cannot believe the trouble you will see when you get home!” they told him. ¬†The man just smiled.

 

When they were almost to his house, they met someone selling a chicken.  Once again, the man traded, the cat for the chicken.  The crowd could not believe their eyes!

 

And then they came to someone who had 2 eggs to sell. ¬†“No!” yelled the crowd in shock. ¬†“Surely even you will not trade a chicken for 2 eggs!” ¬†The man assured them his wife would be pleased as he traded the chicken for the 2 eggs.

 

At last they reached the man’s home. ¬†By this time almost the entire town was following him. ¬†They watched with bated breath to see how the man’s wife would react and how much trouble he would be in!

 

“Wife,” the man said as his wife opened the door. ¬†“I went to town and bought a cow.” ¬†“Oh you wonderful husband!” his wife gleefully said. ¬†“Now we will be able to have milk, and butter, and cheese! ¬†You are truly a wise man!”

 

“But,” said the husband as the crowd listened closely to hear the wife’s reaction, “I traded the cow for a sheep.” ¬†“Oh you wonderful husband,” said his wife. ¬†“A cow eats so much, and we can get wool from a sheep to make warm clothing!”

 

“Then I traded the sheep for a goat,” said the man. ¬†“You wonderful husband,” said the wife. ¬†“We can have milk from the goat and he will eat anything we give him!”

 

“I traded the goat for a dog,” said the man. ¬†“You are such a thoughtful husband,” said his wife. ¬†“A dog will watch for robbers and be a companion to you!” ¬†The crowd could not believe what they heard!

 

“I traded the dog for a cat,” said the man. ¬†“You wonderful man,” said the wife. ¬†“A cat will be a companion for me and will chase the mice away!”

 

“Then I traded the cat for a chicken,” said the man. ¬†The crowd knew he would be in big trouble! ¬†“You are such a wise man,” said his wife. ¬†“Now we can have eggs for breakfast every day!”

 

“And then I traded the chicken for 2 eggs,” said the man. ¬†Now the crowd could hardly wait to hear the wife’s answer. ¬†Now the man was really going to get it!

 

“You are truly inspired,” said his wife. ¬†“How did you know that I have been wanting eggs for dinner all day long?” ¬†And she gave him a huge hug!

 

I love this story!  How wonderful to have someone who finds a way to be happy no matter what the circumstances!  That is the kind of wife I wanted to be.  Not a nag, and not a pessimist.  But someone who would be supportive, compassionate, kind, gentle, and genuinely caring.

 

It has taken a while to get there, but I have become that wife (well, for the most part). ¬†It is a great life! ¬†ūüôā

 

 

 

Primary Is Fun!


 

 

 

 

 

I have to admit, when the Primary chorister announced that the children were going to sing solos today in Primary, I was worried.

 

He explained further that each child would pick the song they wanted to sing and that their teacher would sing with them!

 

I wondered how it would turn out.  These kids range in age from 3-12.  I am the pianist.

 

We began with the Junior Primary (ages 3-8). ¬†He picked the oldest class first. ¬†The young lady chose “A Child’s Prayer” (an ambitious song with 2 parts and 3 verses). ¬†The kids love this song (as do the adults). ¬†It was the closing song in the Primary Program we did in Sacrament meeting a few weeks ago. ¬†This song always brings the Spirit of God to those who hear it. ¬†ūüôā

 

She went up to the front of the room along with her teacher. ¬†His wife happened to also be there, so she joined them. ¬†And a young man from the class just younger than them said he would also sing with them! ¬†So the girls sang the child’s part of the song, and the guys sang the adult’s part of the song. ¬†They did all 3 verses. ¬†It was wonderful! ¬†How special.

 

Next came a young man who chose “Snowman”, an activity song that includes stretching up and then getting as small as you can. ¬†His teacher and he did all the actions! ¬†It was fun to watch the adult participating in this simple, little song. ¬†What fun!

 

The next child chose “Popcorn”, another activity song, but not as extreme as the last one. ¬†Again, the teacher did all the actions. ¬†It was great! ¬†The kids loved it!

 

The youngest class went up together. ¬†They chose “Jesus Wants Me For a Sunbeam“. ¬†This song is also done with some actions. ¬†The kids were so cute singing a little and participating with the actions!

 

There were some kids who had not yet sung.  Oh, I forgot to mention that the chorister had brought some candy along to give everyone who participated.  So all the kids ended up getting up there and singing.

 

Then, the chorister asked the Primary Presidency to come up. ¬†The Primary President, her 2 Counselors, and their Secretary all went up there. ¬†They chose “Heavenly Father Loves Me”. ¬†These 4 women did a wonderful job and the children loved it! ¬†What great sports!

 

In the Senior Primary the oldest class went up first. ¬†They chose “I Am a Child of God“. ¬†There were 3 boys, 1 girl, and their teacher. ¬†They sang the first verse. ¬†The chorister said, “And the next verse!” ¬†So they did. ¬†Then he said, “Do the third verse including the descant!” ¬†The older girls in Primary had learned the descant a few months ago, and had sung it during the Primary Program too. ¬†But there were several girls at that time. ¬†Now there was only 1. ¬†But they sang it and she did a marvelous job!

 

The next class went up and chose “Called To Serve”. ¬†This was all guys and during the chorus the chorister went over and joined them for the 2nd verse. ¬†It was inspirational!

 

The youngest class chose “A Child’s Prayer” (it is a favorite of all of us). ¬†The teacher sang with the only boy in that group, and the girls sang the child’s part. ¬†Again, they did an excellent, beautiful job!

 

And lastly, the chorister asked the Presidency to come back up. ¬†He also asked them to pick a different song than they’d done the last time. ¬†They chose “Mary’s Lullaby”. ¬†Once again, they did such a nice job. ¬†And the kids really enjoyed it.

 

Boy, Primary is fun! ¬†ūüôā

 

 

 

Don’t Deny Yourself God’s Blessings!


A Quadruple Combination of the (scriptures) of...

A Quadruple Combination of the (scriptures) of – contains the Bible, Book of Mormon, Doctrine and Covenants and Pearl of Great Price, all bound together. Ricardo630 07:45, 15 April 2006 (UTC) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

 

 

The other day I was on my way to work and got thinking about my life and what things I should change.

 

As I contemplated, and then prayed about it, I began to realize that because I am complacent about where I am in life right now, moving along with the flow of life, reacting to what comes my way but not planning in advance much, there may be some things I am missing out on.

 

I definitely have many wonderful blessings in my life. ¬†I try to be a good person and do what is right. ¬†I live a thankful life, rejoicing in God‘s blessings and seeking to share with others. ¬†My deeply held spiritual and religious beliefs have brought me much joy in life, comfort and peace during trying times, and strength to keep trying even when I don’t always understand the reasons for why things happen the way they do.

 

When we keep a law, we reap the reward for keeping that law:

 

“There is a¬†alaw, irrevocably decreed in¬†bheaven¬†before the foundations of this world, upon which all¬†cblessings¬†are predicated‚ÄĒAnd when we obtain any¬†ablessing¬†from God, it is bybobedience¬†to that law upon which it is predicated.” ¬†Doctrine and Covenants 130:20-21.

 

The wonderful thing about this rule is that if you want a certain blessing, you obey the law it is connected to and you will have that blessing! ¬†The interesting thing about it is that if you don’t obey the law, you will not be able to have that blessing. ¬†The scriptures are replete with God’s laws and the blessings that come from obeying them. ¬†They include stories and examples of people who follow the rules and reap the blessings, and with people who trust in their own desires and reap the consequences of those actions. ¬†And we get to choose which path we will follow.

 

Back to my musings.  It occurred to me that because of my complacency I could well be missing out on some additional blessings Father in Heaven has in store for me.  I perhaps need to prepare myself in order to move forward in my life, further along the path He has waiting for me as soon as I am ready for it.  That is a very intriguing, somewhat exciting, and even a bit unnerving thought.

 

Yet, knowing that Heavenly Father always wants what is best for us, it is something I want to think more and pray more about, and discern what I need to change, or to do, to be ready for that next step in my life. ¬†I wouldn’t want to deny myself any of God’s blessings. ¬†I know He has amazing things in store for all of us! ¬†ūüôā