Saturday, January 8

I'm Off!

I'm going to the temple, that is.  Have a wonderful Saturday.  I am going to count my blessings all the way to Winter Quarters and back.  I am so thankful for the resources and the opportunity to go.  I love it.

What are you blessed with today?

[UPDATE: Saturday evening, 7:06 pm]

Alright.  It really IS a blessing to be able to go to the temple.  But I think it's also important to be able to get in.  We got up at 5 o'clock in the morning and then drove for a couple of hours for the privilege (and it IS a privilege) to attend the temple.

However, when we got there, it was discovered that I had left my recommend back at home.  One would hope, with this long of a drive, I would check for that before we left the house! I was resigned to my fate, and was settling in the waiting area while Mark went in and did a session.  Not two minutes later, the temple matron walked in, and I thought, "I should tell her, so if someone else needs the spot reserved for me, she can make sure they get it."

Her response was to go get the temple president, who then came to chat with me.  He took my name, and the name of my branch and branch president, and left.  A few minutes more, and he was back, telling me that he had called my branch president, who had vouched for my worthiness to enter the temple.

I got to go TO the temple, and I also got to go IN the temple.  I am grateful for both.  And I will not at all begrudge my branch president the teasing he will most surely give me, for being woken up early Saturday morning on my account.

Friday, January 7


A winter storm is blowing in.  The sky is a miserably bland gray, and wind has been gusting hard all day.  And the squirrels and birds are swarming the feeders in our yard.  The weather people think it will snow for the next four days.

But we are warm and snug in our home, with a good supply of fuzzy socks and comfy blankets & sweaters, and all the fixins for plenty of hot chocolate. The fireplace still doesn't work (sigh), but the soup pot does.  I love warm, yummy soup!  And hot, buttery rolls!  We have everything we need (and want!) to enjoy the coming snow.  We even have good winter coats and boots, not to mention an overwhelming stash of gloves, mittens, hats, scarves and snow pants.  And the snow-ball maker the kids got for Christmas.

We will not only be safe and snug, we will venture out and get cold - on purpose - and have fun in the snow, and then scurry back in to the warmth and comfort of the house and cuddle up with a mug of hot chocolate.  And make paper snowflakes to decorate the dining room.  Lots of paper snowflakes.

Today, I am thankful for warmth and comfort during Winter.

What are you blessed with today?

Thursday, January 6

The Patience of Heaven

For most of my life, I have flattered myself that I was rather bright.  I mean, I was one of the "smart kids" back when my life was weighed and measured by the public education system.  But I have come to the realization that I am actually a very slow learner, particularly when it comes to the deeper issues of life.

Plan 21 meals in a week and feed 9 people on a budget?  Not too shabby.
Competent editing for your written work?  But of course.
Basic math instruction for the wee folk? Check.
Listening without judging?  Uhm...
Humbly accepting circumstances and working through them?  I uh...
Keeping my promises?  Well, you see...

But God is patient with me.  I love that catchy little song, "God of Second Chances." (song starts @ 1:15)  Instead of striking me down when I blow it so completely, He gives me more time.  He gives me another chance.  He gives me opportunities to learn, and then lets me repeat the lesson (and cheat a little on the tests!) whenever I need it.  Wherever I am deeply flawed in my thinking, He gently illuminates my heart to help me see things the way they really are.  He is so gently, never accusing, never insulting (I can't say as much for my own teaching style.)

Show me a credible university on the planet that offers such an education plan.  Today, I am thankful that God continues to leave me here long enough to "do better next time".  I am thankful for the patience of Heaven

What are you blessed with today?

Wednesday, January 5

Stable Boy

Today, I feel a debt of gratitude to the man I married.  in 2 Nephi 1:21, it says " arise from the dust, my sons, and be men."  Elder Christopherson gave a talk in General Conference (October 2006) entitled "Let Us Be Men" where he spoke about righteous manliness (for lack of a better phrase).  So much of what I have, what I am grateful for, I have because of my husband.  He is a good man.  Recently, I have had that fact brought to my attention again and again and again.

I can't thank God enough for my Mark.  He is so dependable, you can set your watch by him.  Of all the things I worry/stress/obsess about, he is not one of them, because he is so loyal and reliable.  I can't take the credit for being much of a good influence on him.  It's quite the opposite, I am afraid.  He helps and lifts and serves everyone around him.  He encourages everyone to be the best they can be.  At the end of a long day for both of us, he is the one who helps me calm down and relax and put things in perspective.

He is my steadfast knight in shining armor, cheerfully slaying my dragons.  He faithfully stands behind me and cheers me on in whatever crazy idea I've latched onto.  He also stands behind me and rubs my shoulders...mmmm!  If I were a cat, I would purr.  He takes such good care of me.  And my kids are so, so lucky to have this guy for their Daddy.

I am thankful for my husband.

What are you blessed with today?

Tuesday, January 4

Common Ground

Today I am thankful for common ground.

We buy our milk from a Mennonite family that lives north of town.  I really like them, they are kind and thoughtful and helpful and friendly.  Sometimes, it feels  as though our different beliefs are too big of a barrier to us being good friends.  This morning, I called to ask if I could come out and pick up milk, and the wife said to come on out.  We have been out of milk for a couple of days, the last time I picked up milk was December 23.  I loaded up my empty jugs and headed her way.

Dale - the husband - was working on the new addition on their home when I arrived.  I like that, because I can talk to him about construction, and we can carry on a good conversation.  But he hurried me into the house, saying, "they're waiting for you."  I didn't want to keep Cindy waiting if she had something else she needed to do.

I found Cindy, not in the kitchen, where she usually is, but on the couch, with a brand new baby.  A baby!  A sweet little boy, with dark wispy hair.  He was born on Christmas Eve, the day after I saw her last.  She had wanted to surprise me.

Together, we were pregnant, all through the end of summer - when I first sarted buying milk from them - and then through the long fall, when I kept thinking I was going to have my baby "any day now!" (but didn't until the beginning of November).  We had this singular experience in common, and it gave us something to talk about.  We talked about the weather, and our children. We talked about doctors and midwives.  We talked about pregnancy and labor and babies.  And we became friends.

As he was helping me carry my four gallons of milk to the car, Dale said, "She has just been waiting for you to call, she couldn't wait to surprise you and show you the baby."  Sometimes barriers are real, but sometimes they are all in my head.  I am thankful for common ground.

What are you blessed with today?

Monday, January 3

Free Time

I've been laying in bed for the past hour, trying to decide what I would choose to express gratitude for.  The options that I came up with ran the spectrum from the mundane to the sublime.

Then, I realized what a lucky little duck I was to be laying in bed, daydreaming, on a Monday morning.  Today is the last day of my husband's Christmas vacation.  That's why I can just poke around and be lazy and introspective.  It has been a wonderful 11½ days.  I look forward to it for months, especially when our lives have gotten as full and chaotic as they were in the four months leading up to the Thanksgiving and Christmas.  To be able to just hunker down and be our own little family, with only the outside obligations and imposed schedules that we choose...that is a slice of heaven.

Therefore, today, this thankful heart is grateful for the blessing that is my husband's good (stable!) job, and for paid time off.  I've tried life without it, and, who knows?  I might have to go without it in the future.  But for now, it is ours, it is a blessing, and I relish it.  And after this post (and maybe a diaper change or two), I think I am going to crawl back into my warm bed and read/knit/daydream/plan/snuggle my babies, and make the most of this last day of free time.

What are you blessed with today?

Sunday, January 2

Asleep At Last

Today is just barely starting.  I am only up because my baby has put in a rough couple of hours.  Aurora is such an easy baby, and hardly ever cries or even fusses, so it just breaks my heart to listen to her cry so hard and be so miserable.  Mark had her for a little while, but we're all tired from the New Year celebrations.  The only thing that would soothe her was my walking around.  She seems to be solidly asleep now, though.  So this morning - which only started a minute ago - I am thankful for restful, peaceful sleep, both for me and for my baby.  So, good night, er, morning.  Have a blessed Sabbath Day...a day of rest, don't we all need it about now?

What are you blessed with today?