Friday, December 31, 2010

Beginning of Hope

Today is New Year's Eve. The very name implies excitement and merriment, yet as I've expressed before, it is, to me, the darkest day of the year.

The light from the current year is nearly extinguished; the spark of new light on the horizon.

The New Year dawns full of hope; fresh and clean. We have the chance to wipe the slate of procrastination and slothfulness clean; make amends and put our best foot forward…again.

We’ll make resolutions and goals, and we’ll try hard to make them stick. The light from the dawning year will shine brightly, like freshly polished silver.

What a gift! What blessing!

Through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, we can be forgiven and have our earthly slate wiped clean; the New Year is a yearly reminder of this gift; a yearly chance to make ourselves better than we are today; a step closer to accepting the gift of the Atonement, and letting it work in our lives.
As we work on these resolutions and goals, let us be reminded of the Ultimate Sacrifice on our behalf, and strive to draw closer to our Heavenly Father and to our Savior Jesus Christ; let that be one of our resolutions; one of our goals.

Let every day dawn bright; let every morning be the New Year; polish your silver daily and never forget that the Lord wants us to succeed; wants us to draw near unto Him. Let the light in you be a reflection of His light.

May your New Year be bright.

With Love.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Angel's Among Us

It's Christmas and that means shopping. It means a whole lot more, and I know that, but it also means shopping, and I hate to shop; unless of course we're going to the thrift stores!
I went out the other day, alone; this is something that rarely happens and was quite a treat.
I went with my daughter and her husband to take Mr. Bug to see Santa; then I was off and running.
My first stop was the big Barnes and Noble nearby, and as much as I love bookstores, I was actually dreading this trip, because, well, it's Christmas time. I hate crowds. But, I love my children, and we have a special thing we do with gifts; they get four: 1.) Something you want, 2.) Something you need, 3.) Something to wear, and 4.) Something to read. So you see, I had to go to the book store; so in I went.

As I was walking to the store, I inhaled something that tickled my nose and made me start to cough a little, and made my nose run to the point of me making rude snuffling noises in the store; the crowded store.
I'm browsing in a section I needed a book from, when a little old lady in a wheel chair rolled up behind me. I paid little mind as I needed to choose between two selections and I was concentrating on finding out which was best. In a minute or two, my aisle mate commented that I must have a cold; no I told her, I think it's a..."an allergy" says she. Why yes I say, I think it must be. She comments on the fact that kids in school bring home lots of things, I counter with the fact that we're homeschooling so that doesn't happen much; I mention we have seven children and before you know it, she's invoking prayers on my head for what I'm doing for my children. "Do you watch Glenn Beck" she whispers (it is after all "the People's Republic of Eugene"); I do I say, and off we go again, and more prayers upon my head, this time, not only for what I'm doing for my children, but also for my country; she'd worked in the schools, and they were not teaching the Constitution or matters of our Republic. I say they are in theater, more blessings.
(Now when I say prayers, know that she said "God bless you for..." numerous times; I happen to take this very seriously, and thanked her for asking God to bless me.)
We talked for a few minutes, back and forth, and I felt like I'd known her for ages.

For me, that day, she was an angel. I needed to feel the Spirit of Christmas, and because of her I did.
I went about the rest of my day with a lightness that made me almost giggly (which, you may want to know, that if you start giggling in public, when you are alone, people will stare; just sayin').
A stranger, called upon the God of heaven to bless me. Because of my political stance which you may read about on my other blog: My Book Of Common Days, I have people who know me personally who wouldn't ask a blessing on me, yet a stranger finds my efforts praiseworthy. I just can't get over it.

Scrooge's long dead partner Jacob Marley told Scrooge :"Mankind was my business. The common welfare was my business; charity, mercy, forbearance, and benevolence, were, all, my business."

Would we not be better off if we took Jacob Marley's words to heart; followed our Savior more obediently; emulated him more closely?
This chance encounter with an angel who lifted my spirits and encouraged me in numerous ways should be the norm. WE should BE those angels!
Since "Charity is the pure love of Christ", are we loving those around us? Are we yet who Christ would have us be? "Even as ye have done it unto the least of these thy brethren, ye have done it unto me."

Go and bless someone; as a recipient, I know it feels darn good.

Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 3, 2010


We had our first snowfall the other day, and here in my section of the Beaver State that may just be all we get; a skiff; a smattering; a modicum; a spattering; a sprinkling. I think you get the idea.

And you know what? I'm perfectly happy with that!

It's not that I hate snow, on the contrary; it's just that snow is cold and wet and slippery and slushy and messy and...well, you get the idea.

I've lived in the high desert of Colorado where the snow can fall as late as mid June; where the mountain roads have to be cut out in early summer so they can be used; where the ground doesn't thaw from September to June, maybe even July.

I've lived beside the Wasatch Mountains where at 5000ft you can get 10 inches of snow in an afternoon.

I've lived beside Lake Erie where the lake effect can dump over a foot of snow during the night, closing roads and schools and making for some incredible snowman snow.

No, I actually love snow; from indoors.

There is nothing on earth cozier than a snow day, in front of a crackling fire with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate steaming away the drafts.
As I look out the window and see the freshly fallen snow, no footprints, no mud showing through, no scars on the landscape; I am at peace. There is a calm that descends on the world that cannot be described; earth is resplendent in her winter finery.

Then the children bundle up and away they go; trudging through the drifts, making trails and hiding spots; laughing and playing; the air sparkling and crackling with their excitement.
Red noses and frozen fingers and toes mark the day; in and out; warm and cold.
Then, finally, they are spent; the excitement having burned itself into a slow simmer.

I look out again, and the fresh virgin snow is gone; all I see are scars, deep and vivid in the late afternoon light; footprints, piles, trails, grassy bald spots; all part of the scene; all part of the lingering chaos.
However, my mother's heart steps in and tears sting my eyes; this scene is a scene of joy, happiness, and unbridled excitement.
Happy children making joyful noise created this chaos and I look with new eyes; a masterpiece before my eyes and my little Vermeer's snuggled all around me now; blankets, books and hot cocoa at the ready.

Yes, I love snow; from indoors.