During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Random Thoughts and Tender Mercies http://marcysrandomthoughts.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Things We Can Do

Just surfing the web and reading some of my favorite blogs.  Here are a few great ideas for being a bit more creative and compassionate in 2018:

From Bridge and Beyond:

How Can You Help The Homeless?

From Collectin Texas Gal:

From Butter With A Side of Bread:

What do you have planned to make 2018 an Extraordinary year?

Friday, November 3, 2017

Gratitude Day 3: Children and Grandchildren

Howes kids 1995

Gratitude Day 3:  I'm grateful for my (almost) perfect children
 and my (totally) perfect grandchildren!

"My greatest treasure is my family.  We may not be perfect, but I love them with all my heart."

Thursday, November 2, 2017

Gratitude Day 2: Dear Husband

Gratitude Day 2:  

I'm grateful for my loving, supportive, faithful, hard working and enthusiastic companion, partner, husband, and best friend.

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Gratitude Day 1: Jesus Christ

Gratitude Day 1:  I'm grateful for my Savior, Jesus Christ, and for the light he brings to the world.

During this past year our church's local women's organization has been focusing on finding peace in our lives through following the example of Jesus Christ.  This is not an uncommon focus by any means, but I do want to share with whoever might read this simple post that I know from experience that learning of, reading about, and thinking about the life and teachings of Jesus Christ on a daily basis can be a source of peace in these troubled, difficult times.  It is the greatest source for inner peace, and if  only everyone in this world could find this same inner peace, the world would be a much different and better place.

I originally published this post on Wednesday, November 1, 2017, and it is now nearly two weeks later.  This past Sunday I had a little "ah ha" moment that I wanted to record, and this seems like a good place.

Let me preface this by saying that I truly am blessed, and lack for very little that is important in this life.  That being said, the past four or five years have been some of the most difficult ones for me, not necessarily because of my own personal trials, but as I felt both emotional and  physical pain as I have watched and been a part of difficulties that others that I care about have been facing.  I wake up many mornings to a feeling of darkness and dread.  I've spent many nights unable to relax my troubled thoughts long enough to find sleep.   Many times I have found myself wondering how anyone can ever truly find peace.

Last Sunday as I sat in our church congregation pondering the life and atonement of Jesus Christ, I was thinking about how Christ suffered for the sins, pains, disappointments, and sorrows that every single soul who ever has and ever will live on this earth.  If we accept his gift, his sacrifice, there is no need for us to suffer.  The demands of Justice have already been met.  This is not new knowledge to me.  

Then I  asked myself the question that has been troubling me for the past few years, how can I ever have true joy and peace as long as I know how others around me are suffering?   How can Christ have true joy and peace?  He knows better than anyone all of the pain that everyone has and will ever suffer.  He suffered those things himself . . . intentionally and willingly experienced all of those things so that we need not suffer, and so that he knows and understands each one of us completely.  Has he ever forgotten what he has suffered?  Are the memories of his pain gone?  I don't think so.  They always will be a part of who he now is.  And he is still able to have peace and joy, because of his knowledge and in spite of his knowledge.  I believe that not only did he suffer all of our pain and sorrow, but he has also experienced all of our joys.   He knows what true peace and happiness is, and is there, here, willing and ready to share that peace and joy with us too.  We just need to seek him out and ask!  How simple is that?

Yes, we are in this world to experience pain and sorrow and illness and even death.  We are also here to experience Joy and Peace.   Yes, Joy and Peace can co-exist with pain and sorrow.  I haven't quite reached the point where this is always true for me, but I know it can be, and I hope that all of you can find it too.


Monday, October 9, 2017

Project of Light

Speaking of Projects, this is one that I pulled out of my cedar chest earlier today.   the above photo is of a cross stitch sampler that was one of the very first handiwork projects that I completed, when I was about 9 years old.  Back in the day, every young girl in Primary (our church's children's organization) was taught how to do cross stitch by completing a sampler such as this.  We were given the sampler (paid for by our parents I presume) and we chose our own color of floss.   This was the theme of the Gaynote class:  "I will bring the light of the gospel into my home."  Many of our weekly lessons during primary were centered around this theme of how we could be a light in the darkness of the world.

Back in those days the world didn't always appear as dark as it sometimes does today, at least not to a young girl like me.  Yes, there were cloudy days, dark nights, scary news on TV about war and violence, but for the most part my childhood was happy, surrounded with family and relatives and friends, good neighbors, kind pets, sunshine, and faith in God.  My biggest worries were getting good grades, good natured teasing,  and getting over the most recent cold and sore throat, and falling asleep at night.

In the present day I still sometimes get colds, and still sometimes have trouble falling asleep.  I also often find myself waking into a dark world, sometimes 5:30, oftentimes at 4:30; I will wake and  feel the heavy darkness around me.   There is usually not a good reason for me to wake this early.   I no longer have children to care for and drive to early morning seminary or school or to deliver newspapers. There is usually no obvious good reason for me to feel the darkness that I do. These dark mornings bring with them a vague sense of dread.  All is not right with the world.

I know that others feel this same darkness, and not just in the early morning hours.   We've discussed it at times.  Perhaps you feel it too.  How do you deal with it?  It's tempting for me to just pull the covers over the head and try to go back to sleep, hopefully to more pleasant thoughts and dreams.  But I believe that part of the purpose of life is to add light to this world.  Each person and each life has the potential to add much goodness and light to the world.  Darkness cannot exist where there is light.  Faith will conquer fear.  So I will turn on the light in my room.  I will find a way to bring not only physical light, but also spiritual light into my life and into the lives of others, not only in the dark early mornings, but throughout the day.

Begin the day by reading scripture and praying
Look around for someone who needs help, a visit, a phone call, a card or a letter
React with kindness to others
Reach out to others with a smile or kind words
Share a treat or something even more valuable and needed
Share uplifting thoughts and the good works of others
Look for the good in life
Express gratitude
Be on time, be honest, have integrity
Listen to and share uplifting music
Attend the temple
Search out your ancestors and perform ordinances for those who have gone before

I'm sure most people in our world are full of light and have much to give and to share.

How do you bring light to our troubled world?

Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Blogtober Day 3: Project On The To Do List

So, I keep telling myself that I need to get sewing and quilting again.  I have so many different projects started, and none finished, but I do have a new project in mind that I want to get done this fall.  I believe that I have all of the materials that I need, but now I just need to decide on a pattern and make the time to sit down and do it.  I'm pretty sure that I want to use some version of a star pattern, probably two different star blocks.  I keep doing the research, but have not yet come to a firm decision as to what to do . . . and I keep telling myself  "next week after this event is over"  or "next week after the fence is painted"  or "next week after I make the chili sauce and the jam" then I will sit down and get started. 

Do you have a favorite star quilt block pattern?

Monday, October 2, 2017

Blogtober Day 2: Completed Home Task

Shine Your Sink!

The FlyLady's Beginners BabyStep number 1 for getting organized is to Shine Your Sink every time you use it and/or before you go to bed so that it will make you smile in the morning.   You probably all should know that this has pretty much always been a challenge for me, but I decided tonight that I should get the dishes put in the dishwasher and the pans washed and shine the sink, since I hadn't done that for a few days.