Here is a link to look more up yourself if you feel so inclined.
Here is a link to look more up yourself if you feel so inclined.
We have been enjoying a lot of Christmas music around here, and a lot of great music in general. It is unbelievable how much musical talent there is in the world. There are people of all races, ethnicity, religions, and backgrounds who have so much talent to offer. God does not seem to discriminate when it comes to handing out musical gifts, and we all have the opportunity to enjoy it.
(I have been a little disappointed with the exclusively secular “holiday music” played on the radio this year. Anyone else notice that?)
Met someone last week who has finally made the choice to turn her life around after 20 years of poor choices and addictions. To see her make so much progress after so much heartache and time. She was an inspiration to me and to anyone who doesn’t think they can do something better with their lives. You can. Of course she needed help from the Lord to do so.
I wonder how long I would need to work to find anyone who was able to truly reclaim their life without letting God do it? I suspect a very long time. That is kind of his business.
We went down to the St. George temple for a Young Womens activity. During the fireside I kept getting the impression that my son was also at the temple. I knew that was not the case, and the impression got to be rather distracting since I was there for my daughter, not my son. I kept having that feeling over and over until finally I realized what it meant. Earlier in the week I had done a session at the temple and had put his name on the prayer roll.
I think I had previously put names on the prayer roll at the temple thinking that if nothing else a few more people would be praying for them, and that it wouldn’t hurt to try. I had not realized the amount of protection and power that came with that simple act. I realized that he was literally being protected because of those prayers, protected from harm as if he were also attending the temple. No, he was not at the temple, but it was as if a portion of the temple was watching over him.
I had an eventful Sunday. The power transformer next our church building blew and caught fire. The fire department was just down the street and everything was under control quickly. We did evacuate the building for safety reasons, but no one was hurt. Really it was no big deal.
It used to be that people would blame God if their houses were struck by lightning or burned down. As we have come to better understand how the elements work together we understand that there are things that we can do to mitigate some of the effects of the elements. As we have become more prosperous we have the resources to provide disaster services to our communities. We understand that there is no need to assume that it is only God is punishing us when things do happen. However, perhaps we have gone too far. When we are able to prevent disaster we congratulate ourselves. Instead I believe we have even more reason to thank God for the understanding and resources we have that allow us to prevent so much damage. We have the unfortunate tendencies to blame God for the ills of life, but turn around and congratulate ourselves for our understanding of how to mitigate them. We forget that He has given us the understanding, and we need to thank him constantly for the benefits we receive.
I am at a rather strange place in my life where I have decided I need all new friends. Or at least to reconnect with old friends again. As I look back at my week there were four people who did more to help me this week than any of my “friends” have this entire summer. Three were old friends who we don’t cross paths as often any more, and one is a person I had only met once before. I think friendship is something that I have taken for granted too often. A friend who goes out of their way to see how you are doing is a blessing that can too easily be dismissed. When we find a good friend who can support and help us, and we can return the favor, I think that qualifies as a miracle.
Today I am grateful for all the Divine help I have had in readjusting my schedule to accommodate a last minute schedule change. There have been a few struggles, but many things have fallen into place as well. I can see how much the Lord wants my daughter to succeed, and has been opening things up for her benefit, funding her schooling, helping with her housing, and making her paths straight. She is one of my examples of how to live a faithful, righteous life, trusting completely in the Lord. Right now I’ll just have to trust Him to keep things here safe while I go help her.
As my difficult son returned home, it created a lot a chaos in the home. He does not get physically destructive, mostly just spiritually and emotionally destructive. We knew things would be difficult for a while, but wanted to believe we could handle it. We could not handle him, and he is currently out of the home, but in a very safe place. There has been a lot of leftover emotion here and everyone tends to get a little too irritated a little too easily. Far too much bickering and petty arguing. Early on in the summer I wanted to do something to prepare for his arrival emotionally. I knew of a book that we had studied from early in our marriage, and I wanted some of the lessons from that book. It turns out that it has been rewritten, and is rather difficult to get a hold of. It is called Strengthening the Family, and is put out by LDS Social Services. It can’t even be ordered online, and everyone who knew about the book didn’t have a copy. We had tried some other programs, but they just weren’t what we needed. Finally last week we were able to get our hands on a copy through an unexpected source.
Yesterday we had our first lesson, and there was such a strong spirit. This was exactly what we needed to re-hear. I’d like to summarize what we talked about.
The chapter we focused on was called “Communicating with Love.” We discussed the effect that our words have on those around us. Even unintentionally it is harmful to use words that lecture, moralize, preach, interrogate, discount, placate, provide empty reassurances, judge, condemn, threaten, blame, criticize, ridicule, or ignore another’s feelings. We recognized some of those phrases that have popped up in our home. We recommitted to stopping those behaviors, and to pattern our communication after the Savior. The lesson points out how the Savior chose to communicate. He was slow to condemn, forgiving, compassionate, considerate of His family, willing to return good for evil, loving of children, appreciative, eager to serve, and willing to sacrifice. We finished the lesson up by practicing using statements that start with “I,” and communicate how another’s actions affect us. We practiced using these types of forgiving statements instead of starting out our sentences with “you” and using blame. Most of the family caught on very quickly. I am so happy we finally found this lesson. I think we need it over and over again!
It has been 24 hours and there has not been a single argument, fight, disagreement, or unkind word spoken here. It is amazing how a parent can know exactly what is needed and where to find it. I only wish we could have found it a little earlier. 🙂
One of my kids is learning Christmas music in March. He’s either 3 months behind schedule, or 9 months ahead of schedule, but maybe Christmas is such a magical time that we want little pieces of it throughout the year. Take a moment and reflect on the miracle of the Christmas season, for the birth of our Savior was a genuine miracle. If you want some Christmas music in March with us, enjoy this arrangement. Some people are just very talented!
3. My husband trumps all of us. His evening job involves conferencing with people all over the world on multiple continents and teaching them English. I’d say he “travels” further for work, but really he just hangs out at home. He definitely meets a wider variety of individuals than the rest of us combined!
My mind has recently been resting on a scripture in Handel‘s Messiah, – I mean from Isaiah. It is the part where it talks about how “all flesh shall see him together.” When I was a child that phrase was relegated to the – we don’t understand it, but God probably knows what he is doing – realm. Today it is absolutely conceivable that all the ends of the earth will be able to see and hear him come in real time, with no mystic divine intervention needed at all. Miracles anyone?