Thursday, November 29, 2012

"Toffee" Days

Ever stand over a pot of caramel, boiling ever so slowly, patiently waiting for it to be just right, only to turn your back literally for sixty seconds and have the whole batch of caramel overcooked?  Well I have and I just did.  Now I could choose to stew over the whole entire hour of watching the pot boil being wasted or I could make “Lemonade,” so to say, or in this case toffee.  In fact not only am I going to make toffee I am going to say that that was my original intent in the first place, because hey, this is my kitchen and I have that right.  My kids will come home from school and they will see the fresh Christmas toffee and they will be thrilled all the while never knowing that I had ever intended to make Caramels. 

                Isn’t that how most of life seems to be?  A long list of failures that if looked at correctly can be chalked up to successes if we see what we have learned and if we choose them to be.  So here is to more toffee days when things turn out differently than planned but every bit as nicely as hoped.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Twilight Tradition

The weather is cold outside and the sky is a little overcast and cloudy.  I can smell the sweet wisps of pine from a neighbor’s wood burning stove.  Almost time for Christmas music and the quiet whisperings of Christ’s love that comes with the Christmas season, and I can’t wait.

Last night I went with my daughters, my daughter’s friend and her awesome mom, my wonderful mother, and of course my twilight buddy Sally Jones to see the final installment of the Twilight Saga.  Silly thing to be grateful for, perhaps, but I was and I am.  That tradition that started several years ago is something I look forward to more than watching the movies themselves.  I’m kind of sad to see them come to an end, but Sally made me aware that The Host, also by Stephanie Meyers, comes out in March and we can start the tradition all over again.

I know that as far as eternity is concerned a silly little movie tradition really has no bearing, but those moments with my daughters and with my mother and friends creates those memories that can change the gloom that sometimes the world tries to tack onto us and in that reality a little movie tradition is possibly even necessary to my eternal progression.

One of my visiting teachers came this morning.  Her companion was sick and not able to join her.  I love my visiting teachers.  They never forget me and they always bring the sweetest spirit of sisterhood with them.  We took the time this morning to get to know one another a little deeper and in the process our testimonies were shared and a little more sweeter side of each of us was revealed.  It led to gratitude and both of our feelings of it and helped to set a very peaceful start to my day.

November is the month of gratitude and reading Facebook this month has allowed me to see so many different things my Facebook friends are grateful for.  I cannot help but be thinking all day of everything that the Lord has given me when everywhere I turn I am being reminded.  It’s hard not to feel loved when you are open to all of the blessing that our Father has given us, given me.  It’s equally as hard not to feel joy when you think of that love that you feel.

Yesterday in my travels handing out invitations to our Young Women in Excellence on Sunday I had a couple of opportunities to be invited into sisters’ homes to chat.  In both instances I learned a little more about some amazing young women in our ward and the hardships that they have had to endure.  Both cases very different from each other but insanely hard beyond what I can even imagine.  Both cases the mother figures in their homes talked about the blessings and goodness that has come and that they see in people all around them.  I wonder if my spirit can possible be as strong as theirs and if I can possibly be one of the many people that are blessing their lives.

Each of us in our small ways that we go about living and doing things in our lives have very real opportunities to share Christ’s love, his charity, in what may seem the tiniest of mercies that add up to be some of his greatest blessings.  Who have you lifted today?  Who have I?  What little smile did I send their way that might change the loneliness that they feel?  How many times have Christ’s human angels been the blessing that I needed to bring the peace to my day?  Thousands? Perhaps millions or billions?  I dare to venture possibly in the Trillions when I think of the kind words or shared experiences, the listening ear or consoling hug, even the quick smiles that I have received over the years that lightens my load in my journey home.

Gratitude is something that I am just learning to understand.  I think the importance of it is perhaps one of the greatest blessings that changes the very soul of who we are and leads us back to Christ.  I think perhaps in our gratitude we honor our Savior in a most sacred way, and our administration of it pulls us more towards him and opens our connection to the spirit perhaps greater than anything else possibly can.  When you read the scriptures the spirit speaks, but when you show true gratitude for those scriptures and the amazing servants of God that brought them to you the spirit can sing.  When we love our Savior he can soften our hearts, but when we show gratitude for our Savior and the uncountable blessings that he has given us, he can change our hearts.

What greater gift in this world is our Savior’s love?  The very heavens and earth were created by it and the very possibility of Salvation comes from it.

Christ lives, he loves us, he loves me, and he loves you!  My knowledge of this is first on my list of gratitude.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


So here is where I have the opportunity to be very sad, maybe even very mad, but most definitely discouraged if I wanted to be.  I have a very good excuse to sit and mope today, but I won’t because life goes on and I am so blessed that it would be wrong of me not to feel gratitude and joy despite it all. 

            Every four years another presidential election comes on and every four years a good portion of Americans have the opportunity to be sad or mad or discouraged if they want to be, because one of the candidates has to loose and their followers therefore feel like they lost right along with them.  Now this is where I, who voted and hoped and wanted Mitt Romney to win so very badly, choose to say, “I am an American and I will support America and the President whomever he (or she) may be.”  I’ve said it in the past and I will say it again, as Americans it is our responsibility to vote, to voice our opinions and have a say in the people and the laws that govern our land, but when all is said and done I am patriotic and this is my country and I will stand by it no matter what.  Showing respect for the new President, (all be it not the one I voted for), is part of that patriotism.
           What a great land we live in that we even have the opportunity to even voice our say, that we even have the opportunity to be sad and mad and discouraged at all about the Presidential race.  What a great country that we live in that we even had the chance to have a LDS President let alone that we are able to practice the beliefs and live the religion that is ours as so many others in so many different religions get to also.  And not just now in our modern world, but since this country began.  It’s not some newfangled freedom that has come to us, but yes, it has always been since the country was founded, fought for and defended for by our ancestors with the deliverance of our God.  How can we not be patriotic and grateful?

Now, on to lighter things.  Stephanie would be embarrassed, but since this is my journal and the only way therefore that I have to remember those cute things that she says, that they all do, I’m going to write it anyway.  Besides she doesn’t read my blog so she will never know.  Last night as we were all in the suburban on the way to several things, (voting, Young Women’s, the store), either Luke or Jason, can’t remember which, somehow got on the subject of teasing Stephanie about kissing boys and that he had heard she had been.  Now, Stephanie is only nine and the sweetest little peanut that you have ever seen, so I am quite certain that we are still several years from any concern on this point but she was giggly, yet defensive, all at the same time.

            She said back, “There is this candyhapped boy at school that sometimes grabs my hand and tries to kiss it, but I don’t let him.”

            It took me moment to comprehend what she was trying to say.  Candyhapped, handicapped!  J  If that didn’t require a smile and a little laughing I don’t know what else did.  I am however very pleased with my little girl and really all of the children at my kids’ elementary school because they have quite a few handicapped children that go to their school and they show so much respect and kindness toward them.  My children are constantly talking about the cute little down syndrome girl on the bus and how much they love her and she them or the little autistic boy in Steph’s grade that all of her classmates watch out for and help.  And it is not just my children but most all of the children at that school who treat those special kids with respect and kindness.  I admire their parents for teaching them so and for our teachers who obviously know how to teach our children to love and show compassion toward one another.

            Oh how I love childhood and oh how sad am I that my children seem to rather quickly be growing up and soon out of it, but boy am I proud of the big kids and even soon grownups that they are becoming.