Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 343, December 19

My favorite Christmas songs and hymns are those that focus on Mary.  Our Primary songbook contains an especially lovely song "Mary's Lullaby" that brings me to tears each time I hear the children sing it.

However, my thoughts turn to Joseph as well.  Sometimes he is the forgotten man at Christmas.  Yet he played a pivotal role in Christ's birth and upbringing.  It was Joseph who took care of Mary when he might have well turned her away or had her stoned.  It was Joseph who found shelter for the pregnant Mary.  It was Joseph who taught the young Jesus how to work with his hands in carpentry.

Joy for today:  remembering Joseph.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 342, December 18

It is one week before Christmas.  And I'm pretty much at peace.  Did I get everything done that I wanted to?  Of course not.  Did I get the things done that meant the most to me?   For the most part, yes.

When I was a young mother, I was frantic.  I had to make Christmas presents.  (I'm still not sure why, as no one liked what I made anyway, but there you have it.)  I had to bake cookies with my children.  I had to decorate my house with crafts I had made myself.  (I look back in abject horror at some of my crafting attempts.)  The list continued.

Are those bad things?  No.  But wisdom and a whole lot of years under my belt (or in my bra) have given me a different perspective.

Joy for today:  not being frantic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 341, December 17

At this time of year, we often take stock, reflecting on what is ... and what isn't ... important in our lives.

Here is a partial look at my list:

Important:

Handwritten Christmas cards with a personal message.

Unimportant:

A beautifully decorated house.

Important:

Being able to help our grandchildren wtih braces, special classes, etc.

Unimportant:

A new car.  (Mine is circa 2000.)

Important:

Paying tithing to the Lord.

Unimportant:

Expensive clothes.  (I am queen of garage sales.)

Important:

Loyalty to my friends.

Unimportant:

Wordly awards.

Doubtless you have other things on your list.  Take a moment or two and decide what belongs on your important list and what you can let go.  It may surprise you.

Joy for today:  evaluating my priorities.


Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 340, December 16

I found this on a Christmas plaque:

THREE WISE WOMEN

Would have asked for directions,
arrived on time,
helped deliver the baby,
cleaned the stable,
made a casserole,
brought practical gfits,
and then
there would be
PEACE ON EARTH!

Perhaps it's a bit facetious, but it makes a certain sense.  I think of my women friends and can see each of them in these "Three Wise Women."  My friends see a problem, step in without fanfare or ceremony, and take care of it.  All of this is done with no thought of gratitude or reward or recognition.

Joy for today:  having many "Three Wise Women" as friends.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Day 339, December 15

Today is our son's Hyrum's birthday.  I won't say how old he is; I will just say the it makes it increasingly hard for me to claim to be 29.  For years, I had my grandchildren convinced that Grandma was only 29.  When their mother reached that age and more, the grandchildren became skeptical of Grandma's claims.

But enough of that.

Hyrum is a son any parent would be proud of.  Larry and I are no exception.  Hyrum has a sharp mind, an engaging personality, and a cute, if sometimes naughty, sense of humor.  (Where did he get that from?)  He also has a strong sense of morality and integrity.

When his older brother was going through a really hard time, Hyrum invited him to go on an all-expense paid trip to Mexico.  They had chocolate wraps, ate fine food, and didn't miss their mother at all!

Joy for today:  loving Hyrum.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Day 338, December 14

Yesterday I saw a cottontail rabbit in a friend's yard.  Such was his coloring that he blended in seamlessly with the brown and gray landscape.  It caused me to think of the perfection of the Father's creations.

Rabbits are prey to many other animals and birds, foxes, hawks, even an eagle.  They have little defense mechanisms, but the Great Creator gave them the ability to "hide in plain sight."

Sometimes I find myself questioning God's plan.  Why did He take my sister and others, who were so beloved and needed by so many?  I have no answers, at least none that make sense.  In the afterlife, perhaps I will be privvy to His plan.  In the meantime, I can only marvel at the details of His creations, His attention to even the protection of bunnies.

Joy for today:  finding joy in the Father's plan.

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Day 337, December 13

"There is in every true woman's heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity: but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity."--Washington Irving

I like to think that I have a "spark of heavenly fire."  Occasionally, I get a glimpse of it--or what it could be if I allowed it to "beam and blaze."

Too often, though, I put out the fire before it has a chance to take hold.  I run away from it.  I ignore it.  Or, worse, I'm not even aware of it and allow it to wither away and die. How sad is that.

I believe we all--men and women alike--have a heavenly fire within us.  Our job is to find it, to feed it, and then to act upon it.  We need not wait until the "dark hour of adversity" for it to beam and blaze.  We can use that fire to better our lives and those of others.

Joy for today:  nurturing the heavenly fire within me.