Monday, September 30, 2013

Day 230, September 30

I found the following story in the book COLOR YOUR FUTURE by Taylor Hartman, Phd.  (I highly recommend this book.)

A great king called all his wise men throughout the kingdom and requested that they determine the most important truth he should live by in life.  The wise men studied and debated for days before coming to agreement on the following advice.

"Your honor," they said, after much research, "we must tell you that the greatest truth you should live by comes in a simple phrase."

"Well, what is it?" he impatiently demanded.

"There is no free lunch," they said.

At first the king was greatly displeased.  He thought they were making a mockery of his request.  With time, however, he discovered, the power in these few words of wisdom.

When I started reading the story, I smugly assumed that I could guess what the wise men would advise the king.  They would, I knew, tell him that love is the greatest principle.  I was wrong.

Love IS a great principle, but it was not the counsel these learned men gave:  "There is no free lunch."

We live in a society where "a free lunch" is expected, indeed, demanded by many people.  When that free lunch fails to materialize, they become resentful, angry, even bitter.  "But we've always been given a free lunch in the past," they protest.  They don't know how to survive without a free lunch.

You may know some of these people.  They are the ones who give a half day's work for a full day's pay.  They are the ones who demand others serve them when they offer no service of their own.  They are the ones who "borrow" money with no intention of paying it back.  They are the ones who berate and belittle others while expecting respect from those whom they humiliate.

Fortunately, there are others, the people who give a full day's work, who give service without thought of being served, who repay any borrowed money, who build up rather than tear down.

So, for today, I am grateful for those people who shun "a free lunch."

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Day 229, September 29

Yesterday I wrote about prices and choices.  Lately I've been wondering about some of the choices I've made, the prices I've paid.  some of them were bargains; others have cost me dearly.

A choice my husband and I made early in our marriage was that I would remain home with our children while he worked.  This was the right choice for our family.  We paid a price for that decision in lost income.  At the same time, we received value in knowing that our children were being raised in our home with our values.

Another choice we made was to always pay tithing.  Once again, we paid a price for that choice.  And once again, we received value for it.

Not all of my choices have been as wise.  And for my foolishness, I paid a price.  In some things, I am still paying a price.

So, for today, I am grateful for wise choices.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Day 228, September 28

"Everything has a price."  Ralph Waldo Emerson

I love to go to garage sales.  Sometimes prices are listed; sometimes they are not.  But there is a price, whether it be a nickel or five dollars or fifty dollars on everything. 

We pay a price in everything we do or don't do.   We get value for some prices we pay.  For example, paying tithing is a bargain.  We can never get ahead of the Lord.  Serving others is another bargain.  In each case, we pay a price, whether in money or effort or some other sacrifice, but the reward for our obedience is growing closer to the Lord and to others.

There is a price for neglecting our health.  There is a price for neglecting work.  There is a price for neglecting relationships.    These prices will never be bargains.  We may not cognize the price right away; it will come due at a later time, when it may be too late to rectify the neglect.

Our choices always come with a price tag.

So, for today, I am grateful for those times when I get value for my choices.

Friday, September 27, 2013

Day 227, September 27

A church lesson last Sunday was entitled "Stand Strong in Holy Places," based on a talk by Elder Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. 

Edler Hales gave the following story:

When I was in the ninth grade, I returned from my first out-of-town game with the varsity baseball team.  My father discerned that the long busy ride home I had witnessed language and behavior that was not in harmonoy with the standards of the gospel.  Being a professional artist, he sat down and drew a picture of a knight--a warrior capable of defending castles and kingdoms.

"As he drew and read from the scriptures, I learned how to be a faithful priesthood holder--to protect and defend the kingdom of God.  The words of the Apostle Paul were my guide:

'Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

'Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness.

'And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:

'Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

'And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.''"

Never has it been more important to "stand strong in holy places" as it is in today's world, where evil is portrayed as good.  Evil will never be good, no matter what spin is put on it. 

So, for today, I am grateful for the reminder to "stand strong."

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Day 226, September 26

A few days ago Larry and I had the privilege of attending the temple with our son Hyrum and his wife Cara.  When I stepped into that holy place, I felt the worry and stress of the last week fall away. 

As we did saving ordinances for those people who had not had a chance on this earth to accept the gospel, I experienced a quiet peace that had been conspicuously absent over the last week.  The knowledge that I was doing something for someone who could not do it for herself was both uplifiting and rewarding.  And isn't that what Heavenly Father wants us all to do?  To help someone else, in whatever way we can.

Certainly the temple is not the only place we can do something for another.  Opportunities abound everywhere.  But, there, in the temple, I understood more clearly my purpose here on earth.

So, for today, I am grateful for the healing peace of the temple.

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Day 225, September 25

Can you stand one more posting about the acts of kindness and compassioin during this time as our area recovers from the flood? (I promise, I won't write about this any more.  Well, really, I'm not sure that I won't, but I'll try not to.)

In our neighborhood is a sweet lady who has turned her home into a refuge for homeless cats.  She takes in strays, cats who have been abandoned, kittens in danger of going to a "kill-shelter."  She does this on her own because she loves all of Heavenly Father's creatures.  Recently she sent out an email saying that her resources are stretched as she has taken in pets, both cats and dogs, displaced when their "owners" lost their homes.

What a compassionate thing to do.  Larry and I took over some supplies and thanked her for her selfless work.  On her website is the sentence "It is the mark of a civilized society in how we treat all creatures."

So, for today, I am grateful for a woman who loves "all creatures great and small."

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Day 224, September 24

The news seems to be filled with stories of teenagers acting badly.  Whether they be celebrities or just "regular" teens, the media delights in telling us that the nation's young people are selfish, uncaring, and immature.

I have a different kind of story to share:   Loveland's Gateway Baptist Church suffered severe damage during the recent flood.  Mud and water poured into the church.  Community members showed up in droves.  Among those who came to help were the youth of another church. 

They worked diligently, cleaning, carrying away damaged pieces,  digging out mud, etc.  The pastor of the church was so impressed with them that he asked their headers, "What do you teach your young people to make them so caring?" So great was his confidence and trust in these teenagers that he gave them his credit card to go to the store to buy supplies.

These boys and girls performed back-breaking labor to help people they didn't know, to aid a church not of their faith.  They did it because they cared, because they have been taught well by their parents and leaders.

So, for today, I am grateful for righteous youth.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Day 223, September 23

More thoughts on friends:

"Did you know you were brave,
Did you know you were strong?
Did you know there was one leaning hard?
Did you know that I waited
And listened and prayed,
And was cheered by your simplest word?
Did you know that I longed
For that smile on your face.
For the sound of your voice ringing true?
Did you know I grew stronger and better
Because I have merely been friends with you?"  Anonymous

What greater compliment can one give another than to say "Thank you for being my friend?"  I would take that over any riches, even designer purses.

I am fortunate to be blessed with many wonderful friends.  I won't name them, but they enrich my life in countless ways.  I would be poor indeed without them.

So, for today, I am grateful for friends.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Day 222, September 22

It is, perhaps, not surprising that Jesus's words should focus so much on friendship.  The following is a partial, by no means, complete account of His words on friendship:

"You are my friends, if you do what I command."  John 15:14

"Dear friends, let us love one another; for love comes from God."  1 John 4:7

"Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."  Joohn 15:13

"Dear friend, I pray ... that all may go well with you."  3 John 2

"I thank my God every time I remember you."  Philippiains 1:3

"It is right for me to feel this way about ... you, since I have you in my heart." Philippians 1:7

So, for today, I am grateful for the cousnel of Jesus, the greatest Friend we will ever have.

Saturday, September 21, 2013

Day 221, September 21

The subject of the flooding in our area is still very much on my mind, as I am sure it is on yours as well.  Despite all the heartache and devastation, we are strengthened and uplifted by examples of service.

A few days ago, our Relief Society President sent out an email to ward members asking for help in cleaning out a friend's flooded basement.  Within an hour, individuals and couples started showing up.  One young woman, the daughter of our RS President, drove from her home in south Denver to help carry the family's belongings out of the basement.  Another man (would it surprise you to know that he is our president's husband?) showed up twice.  Each time, he banged his head on the low ceiling of the basement, one time causing severe damage.

Other people arrived, including Larry and myself.  We worked together, laughing over aches and pains of muscles being put to unaccustomed use.   (My muscles are still protesting.)

Examples of service abound in our community.  There is the friend who volunteered at a flooded church (not of his faith) to help take apart the church's organ and grand piano and transport them to his place of business where they could dry out.  There is another friend who volunteered at the relief center where supplies were distributed to people who had lost everything.  There is yet another friend who went to Walmart and bought $150 worth of toiletries to take to the center.  And so on.

So, for today, I am grateful for those who answer the call to serve.

Friday, September 20, 2013

Day 220, September 20

Yesterday I wrote of the devastation caused by the recent rain and resulting flooding.  During all this, we heard a rumor that the water supply might be cut off temporarily.  Immediately Larry and I began filling containers with water.

As we were doing this, I thought (not for the first time) about the prophets' directives over the years that we store sufficient food and water to get us through an emergency.  Though Larry and I have some food (not enough) in storage, we had no water. Our scrambling efforts netted us a hodgepodge of water-filled pots and pans.  It certainly wasn't organized or anything that remotely approached what we would need in a true emergency.

Why hadn't we followed the prophets' counsel?  A couple of reasons:  we're lazy.  There's no getting around it.  We're just plain lazy.  No excuse.  Another:  we, like many people, think a disaster or emergency won't happen to us.  We think we're somehow immune from such hardships.

Have we changed our ways?  Not yet.  But we've started thinking about it.  And maybe that's progress.

So, for today, I'm grateful for the counsel of prophets.  I'm even more grateful for those occasions when we're wise enough to obey that counsel.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Day 264, September 19

Last week our area was hit by torrential rains.  The Big Thompson River flooded, spillinig mud onto the flood plain.  A member of the church found his basement partially filled with mud.   Because he is a good man, he checked on neighbors and found that two of them had their basements completley filled with mud.

He called church authorities.  Within a short time, 40 men and women showed up at his home and those of his neighbors.  These stalwart members arrived with shovels and buckets and power washers and anything else they thought might be needed, including strong backs and willing hearts.  They worked tirelessly for hour upon hour, mucking out basements one bucket at a time in a bucket brigade.

I know of this, not because I was one of these valiant people but because my husband Larry was.  He came home bone tired and covered with mud.  I have never been more proud of him or of the church members.

So, for today, I am grateful for those who heed the call to serve.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

Day 263, September 18

"My brothers and sisters, the great test of this life is obedience.  'We will prove them herewith,' said the Lord, 'to see if they will do all things whatsoever the Lord their God shall command them'... The knowledge which we seek, the answers for which we yearn, and the strength which we desire today to meet the challenges of a complex and changing world can be ours when we willingly obey the Lord's commandments.  I quote once again the words of the Lord:  'He that keepeth (God's) commandments receiveth truth and light until he is glorified in truth and knoweth all things.'"--President Thomas S. Monson

Do you struggle with obedience?  I do.  I struggle every day with it.  I struggle with subjecting my will to the Father's.  I tend to be a bit (well, maybe more than a bit) rebellious.   It shouldn't be so hard, I tell myself, to obey the Father's word.  He asks so little in comparison of what He gives.  And yet I continue to rebel, continue to struggle.  On those days when I can subject my will to His, I am immediately happier and more peaceful. 

So, for today, I am grateful for those times when I am obedient.

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Day 262, September 17

Did you know that our country has a National Constitution Day and Week?  I didn't, until a friend sent me the following:
September 17-23 is National Constitution Week in the United States.
September 17th is National Constitution Day.

“It was officially enacted on August 2, 1956 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower from a congressional resolution petitioned by the Daughters of the American Revolution. The purpose of the observance week was to promote study and education about the constitution which was originally adopted by the American Congress of the Confederation on September 17, 1787.”
We live in a time when the Constitution of the United States of America is, as predicted by prophets, hanging by a thread, at a time when our nation's leaders want to strip the Constitution of its power and the people of their rights.
The Constitution was and is inspired by the Lord.  One cannot read it without knowing of its divine origins.
So, for today, I am grateful for an inspired document.

Monday, September 16, 2013

Day 261, September 16


I saw this title in a bookstore, and it immediately caught my attention.  The fact is, a great many of us, myself included, are content to sit down when it comes to standing up to injustices and sins.  We are, if not happy, at least accepting of the wrongs that go on in the world around us.

Part of our unwillingness to stand up to sin is our desire to be politically correct.  If we say "This (whatever it may be) is wrong," we fear we will be perceived as narrow-minded.  In that case, let me be brave enough to be narrow-minded.

Part of our unwillingness to stand up to sin is the fear that we may hurt someone's feelings.  I abhor hurting the feelings of others, but occasionally it is necessary when that person presents sin as righteousness.  In that case, let me be brave enough to hurt another's feelings.

Part of our unwillingness to stand up to sin is fear.  I admit it:  sometimes I'm afraid to denounce a wrong act.  In that case, let me be brave enough to put aside my fears.

So, for today, I am grateful for those brave enough to stand up in a sit-down world.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Day 260, September 15

One more family history story, this one about Louisa Mellor Clark (as you may remember, Lucy Ashby Clark's husband took Louisa as a second wife):

Louisa and her family had traveled to the United States to join the body of the Saints in Utah.  On their way there, their handcart company was caught in a severe snowstorm.  Many died, from starvation, from the cold.

From Louisa's history:

"My mother, still being weak, finally gave up and said she could go no further.  The company could not wait for her, so she bade my father goodbye and kissed each one of the children Godspeed.  Then my mother sat down on a boulder and wept.

"I told my sister, Elizabeth, to take good care of the twins and the rest of the family, and that I would stay with mother.  I went a few yards away and prayed with faith that God would help us , that He would protect us from devouring wolves, and asked that He would let us reach camp.

"As I was going back to where my mother was sitting, I found a pie in the road.  (Remember, this was in the middle of a horrific snowstorm.) I picked it up and gave it to mother to eat.  After resting awhile, we started on our journey, thanking God for the blessings.  A few miles before we reached camp we met my father coming out to meet us.

"We arrived in camp at 10:00 pm.  Many times after that mother felt like giving up and quitting, but then would remember how wonderful the Lord has been to spare her so many times, and offered a prayer of gratitude instead.  So she went on her way rejoicing while walking the blood-stained path of snow."

(A note:  for those of you familiar with the movie 17 MIRACLES, you will perhaps recognize the story of the pie.)

So, for today, I am grateful for the Lord's answers to prayers.

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Day 259, September 14

"Then it seemed 1856 was a year of Plenty, and the Saints were called to do better and a great excitement arose among us and all were called to make a fresh covenant with the Lord and be baptized again, which we all did, and were blessed.

"In the fall, two Companies organized to cross the plains in handcarts.  The first Company did pretty well, but the second were caught in the snows and a good many suffered severely.  Transportation and teams were sent out to meet them.  Brought them in what were left, and divided them among the Saints to take care of for the winter. 

"At this time a young sister by the name of Mellor who came across the Plains in the handcart company came to live at our house as if sent there and I believed in the Order of Celestial or Plurality of wives, and I thought my husband worthy to enter this order of Priesthood, and I invited her to come into our family as a wife to my husband, she consented.  My husband took her to the city and had her sealed to him Feb. 3, 1857 by President Brigham Young.  She has born to him 9 children, 8 are now living, and I have born to him 10, 9 are are living today; we have 15 grandchildren today, all our children are members of the church.

"In 1855 my husband performed a mission to England and was blessed and brought some to the church.

"Now, dear children of our posterity, we have given you a short sketch of our life's history and when we are in the graves, it is our wish for you who are living to hunt up our records and finish, as far as you can, our work as we cannot have time to do for ourselves, and we, your parents, will aid you all we can in the spirit world."--Lucy Clark

What a remarkable testimony from a remarkable woman.  I am proud to call her an ancestress.

So, for today, I am grateful for courageous and faithful women everywhere.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Day 258, September 13

"We were all called together and the Militia was organized and my hsuband had to start out a very short notice to help the Saints at Payson, while he got ready I ran some bullets for his rifle.  He went and left me with four children and no bread or money to buy, but the way opened and we lived.  In two weeks he came back and peace was made and while it was peaceful, President. Brigham Young called us all to pull down our houses and move all together in forts.

"We did and built again on Main St. Provo.  Time passed and May 1, 1855, I was sealed to my husband by Apostle G. (George) A. (Albert) Smith.  The same year swarms of grasshoppers come so as to almost darken the sun and eat most of all the crops in the Territory.  The next year 1856, was a semi-famine, so a great many had to live on roots and fish which were plentiful.  We then had the privilege of taking up our endowments which we did on the 7th of May and were again sealed over the altar by President Brigham Young."

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Day 257, September 12

"Then the Company went to St. Louis on the Ellick Scott steam boat, landing on the 23rd, stopped in St. Louis three weeks, then started up the Missouri River on the 13th of April on the Sacramento steam boat, stayed there until the next spring and we made us a team of oxen and one of cows. 

"We started from Kanesville on the 3rd of July 1852 on the 20th Company of that year's immigration.  Henry Miller was the Captain of 50 wagons, and Apostle O. Hyde over the 100.  We had a sort of rough trip over the Plains, as were not accustomed to that mode of traveling, and as if to add to all the trouble, our eldest daughter, Sarah, slipped out of our wagn and was run over, and next day she died, age 7 years and 11 months, September 6.  Buried on the Sweet Water, this was trial indeed, but we acknowledge the Lord in it and still persevered on our journey, and soon after had to leave one of our cows, as it could not stand the trip. 

"Then we traveled with one yoke of cattle and it seemed the Lord strengthened them extra and we arrived in Salt Lake City on the 24th of September 1852.  We stayed and attended the October Conference and felt well paid for our three months on the plains and over seas and rivers.  On the 10th we left Salt Lake and started south as far as Provo, 50 miles.  Stayed at one of our old neighbors from England, Samuel Jackson.  In a short time, my husband build a small adobe house 12 by 14 ft, we had just gotten it finished and had moved in when the Indians got hostile and killed a Brother Keel at Payson."

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Day 256, September 11

I'm taking a break from the personal history to write of something even more personal. 

Today is the 69th anniversary of my parents' wedding.  How wonderful to think of them married, then sealed in the Holy Temple, and together forever.  My mother died just three days after their 53rd anniversary, but we never doubted that she and my father were still together.

Mom and Dad had very little when they married.  I recall my father saying that on their first night of marriage they tried to heat up a can of oyster stew in a dishpan on their small apartment stove.  (They had no sauce pans; indeed, they had nothing in the way of cookware or dishware aside from that dishpan.)

Shortly after their marriage, my father was shipped overseas to the Pacific Theatre.  There he spent the next year, suffering a wound.  When he returned to the States, he had to spend time in a veterans' hospital.  He and my mother decided he should further his education.  He graduated from college, then earned a law degree while she supported the both of them working as a secretary.

There were no fancy diinners out for them, no expensive furniture or clothes, only work and more work.  But they survived and thrived because they loved each other and loved the Lord.

So, for today, I am grateful for my parents' eternal union.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Day 255, September 10

(Personal history of Luch Ashby Clark continued)

"We then took another house and opened it for teaching and quite of lot were baptized at Camden Town.  At this place we witnessed the Power of God in the Ordinance of Baptism ... A Mrs. Woodgate had been afflicted for a number of years and was helped to the water by two men.  After baptism she was made whole and ran and rejoiced and praised God.

"We left London in 1848 May 7 and went back to Wolverhampton, we had left a year ago.  Here we preached to our relations and friends and a large branch was soon raised up.  We bore our Testimony for two years there, made a home for the Elders (missionaries), and in 1851 we immigrated to America with a company of saints on the ship Ellen, a sailing ship.  The first night out from Liverpool we encountered a heavy storm and had a collision with another ship, and both were disabled, but not a soul was lost.  We went into Camdeyan Bay and stopped there three weeks repairing the ship.  Had a pretty good voyage after we started again.  Then in six weeks we landed in New Orleans the 15th day of March 1851."

Monday, September 9, 2013

Day 254, September 9

Those who know me well know that I love history, especially personal histories of ancestors.  Following is an except from one of my ancestors, Lucy Ashby Clark: (I've divided it over several posts as it is a bit lengthy.)

"I, Mrs.Lucy Ashby Clark, was born December 14, 1818.  I was the youngest daughter of William Ashby and Elizabeth Grimsdale.  I was born in Millend, England.  I attended school until I was thirteen years old, when my mother died in in 1831.  I kept house at home until 1833, then I went to learn dressmaking at Rickmunsworth.  Was there until 1835, then after, left and went to live with a lady by the name of Sanlers at London.  I was there 18 months, then left and went to Staffordshire as a lady's maid to a Lady Arden Travill.  Was with her six months then went home again for 2 years and kept house for my father and brothers then went again to Staffordshire.

"I lived with a Lady Walton as lady's maid.  There I met Edward Watkin Clark, son of James and Phebe Clark.  He paid his addresses to me about two years, then we were married July 25, 1843.  We lived in Wolverhampton.  My husband was a carpenter.  He worked at his trade until 1847, then we sold our effects and started up in London with some intention of going to Austrailia, and we took a room in Camden Town. 

"In part of this house was a Brother and Sister Taylor who belonged to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  My husband and I were invited to go and hear the (new doctorine as we thought) Gospel, and the first time I was a little doubtful of its truth, but my husband read the works, and Sister Taylor preached to me, and in two weeks, we were baptized in Tentonvill Baths, London, by Elder William Booths, November 23, 1847 and confirmed in the church on 27th by Elder John Banks."

Sunday, September 8, 2013

Day 253, September 8

Patience is the virtue that keeps the other ones going. It's the oil in the car of compassion. The yeast in the dough of kindness. And I can't imagine it being more entangled with forgiveness than it is. -- Kelly Minter

The writer in me loves the metaphors in this quote.  "Patience ... the oil in the car of compassion."  "Patience ... the yeast in the dough of kindness." 

More, I love the reminder that we all need patience.  Most especially, we need it with ourselves.  I am never more impatient than I am with myself.  I rarely give myself a break, constantly bringing up my past failures, my current failures, my predicted future failures.  I'm just downright mean to myself sometimes.  Why is it easier to extend compassion and kindness and patience to others?

So, for today, I am grateful for the reminder to be patient, with myself, with others.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Day 252, September 7

Earthly possessions dazzle our eyes and delude us into thinking that they can provide security and freedom from anxiety. Yet all the time they are the very source of all anxiety. -- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

A few days ago I wrote about the car accident, resulting in totalling our '67 Mustang.  The car had sentimental value as my parents had given it to Larry and me over 20 years ago.  It is one of the few things I have from my parents. 

But, as I wrote in the previous post, the car means very little compared to having Hyrum's lovely wife Cara relatively unharmed.  How could a mere car compare to that?

You probably know people, just as I do, who are very wrapped up in their material possessions.  Sometimes this translates into an obsessive interest in their appearance, with much of their money going into personal adornment.  Sometimes it translates into buying a new car every year or constantly upgrading their house.  And sometimes it translates into hoarding every penny, never sharing or giving.

None of those things will bring happiness.  Pleasure, perhaps, but never happiness.

So, for today, I am grateful for reminders that early possesions can only dazzle and delude; they can never succor or sustain.

Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 251, September 6

Everyone says forgiveness is a lovely idea, until they have something to forgive. -- C.S. Lewis

I've written before about my problem with forgiving.  If I had to name my greatest sin, I would probably cite my lack of forgiveness.  Over the years, our family has experienced some terrible wrongs, more than the occasional bout of hurt feelings.

I have yet to truly forgive those people who damaged our family so severely.  Every once in a while, I have a glimpse of what it would be like to live without bitterness, but it vanishes, leaving me still holding on to the pain and sense of betrayal.

So, for today, I am grateful for those who forgive wholly and freely.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Day 250, September 5

A holy life will produce the deepest impression. Lighthouses blow no horns, they only shine.  -- D.L. Moody 

This quote reminds me of Christ's instructions to His apostles (and others) to do their good works in secret, with the reminder that God will reward them openly.

You probably know people who like to make sure everyone recognizes their good works, service, charitable giving, etc.  These people, as Christ said, have their reward.  It is a temporary, fleeting reward.  (I'm shamed to admit that I've been among those people at times.  I'm trying to do better.)
How much better it is to give without looking for recognition or reward.   That feeling is deep and long-lasting.  Many years ago, when our family was going through a rough time, someone left a box of treats and groceries on our doorstep.  We rejoiced in the bounty; more, we rejoiced in knowing that we were remembered. 
So, for today, I am grateful for those who do their good works in secret.



Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Day 249, September 4

A short while ago our daughter-in-law Cara was in a car accident.   She sustained some cuts and bruises but was otherwise all right.  My husband and I gave thanks when we learned she wasn't seriously hurt.

At the time, Cara was driving the '67 Mustang we had loaned Hyrum and Cara.  The car did not come through the accident as well as Cara.  It was totalled.  You know what?  It didn't matter.  Compared to our sweet Cara, the car was insignificant.

The older I get, the more I am gaining an appreciation of what matters ... and what doesn't.  (I knew there had to be some benefit to getting older!)  Cars can be replaced; people can't. 

So, for today, I am grateful that Cara is all right.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Day 248, September 3

Lately the days have been overcast.  Though I appreciate the cooler weather, I miss the sun.

I've written before about my need for sunshine.  My spirits plummet the moment the sun disappears from the sky.  (Larry, the engineer tells me that the sun hasn't really disappeared, it's only obscured by the clouds.)  It doesn't matter.  I need to see the sun.  I need to feel it.

Sunshine and Sonshine.  We cannot get along without either one.

So, for today, I am grateful for the sun.  I am always grateful for the Son.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Day 247, September 2

I've been away from home for more than three weeks, leaving Larry and our kitty Harley on their own.  A few days ago, Larry called me from the veternarian's office, saying that he was there with Harley.  He was concerned that she wasn't eating the usual amount. 

After performing some tests and doing blood work, the doctor pronounced Harley to be fine.  I rejoiced in that and thanked Larry for taking care of her.  As I thought about it, I realized the sacrifice Larry had made.  He took time from a busy schedule at work to take Harley to the veternarian's office, spent several hundred dollars, all to find out that our kitty was all right.  I wondered how many husbands would do that.

So, for today (and for everyday), I am grateful for Larry.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Day 246, September 1

Yesterday I wrote about an always just God.  Deliberately, I did not talk about the other side of the coin because I felt it deserved its own post.

Yes, the Lord is always just.  The Lord is also always compassionate.  He combines these two traits in a perfect balance that the rest of us can try to emulate but will never achieve.  The Lord knows when justice is demanded.  He also knows how to temper that justice with loving compassion.  (And how grateful I am that he does.)

So, for today, I am grateful for the Lord's justice and the Lord's compassion