Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Day 112, April 22

Last week, I wrote about our church's Women's Conference.  I found in the Church News an excerpt from the General Relief Society President's talk.  She asked girls and women alike to imagine some of the possible spiritual "help wanted" signs we might encounter in this earthly journey.

Help Wanted:

Parents to bring up their children in light and truth.
Those to serve as mentors and offer helping hands along the covenant path.
Those who listen to the promptings of the Holy Ghost and act on impressions received.
Those who live the gospel daily in small and simple ways.
Family history and temple workers to link families eternally.
Missionaries and members to spread the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Rescuers to find those who have lost their way.
Covenant keeprs to stand firm for truth and right.
True disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ.

What a difference in the world we could make if each one of us chose but one thing from this list and filled the "help wanted" posting.

Joy for today:  filling a help wanted position with our hands and our hearts.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Day 111, April 21

"A passionate interest in what you do is the secret of enjoying life, perhaps the secret of a long life, whether it is helping old people or children or making cheese or growth earthworms."--Julia Child

I've noticed that those times when I'm feeling down frequently coincide with those times when I am uninterested in life.  I'm wrapped up in myself with very little to think about except my own inadequacies and failures.

By contrast, those times when I'm feeling upbeat and alive coincide with those times when I am passionate about something.  It doesn't matter much what I'm passionate about, only that I'm involved, whether in writing a book or helping a friend pull weeds.

Joy for today:  being wrapped up in something beside myself.

Sunday, April 20, 2014

Day 110, April 20

Today is Easter Sunday.  I wish I had profound and moving words for such a special day.  But I don't possess such words, so I turned to the hymn book where I found the beautiful song "I Believe in Christ" by Bruce R. McConkie

"I believe in Christ; he stands supreme!
From him I'll gain my fondest dream;
And while I strive through grief and pain,
His voice is heard:  "Ye shall obtain."
I believe in Christ; so come what may,
With him I'll stand in that great day
When on this earth he comes again
To rule among the sons of men.    (Fourth verse)

Joy for today:  believeing in Christ

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Day 109, April 19

I found the following story in the International Business Times from several years ago:

A 16-year old boy in Hebei, China, Lui Shi Ching, had carried his friend to school daily for the previous eight years.  His friend Lu Shao had a congenital disorder that made it difficult to talk.  Lui Shi Ching, smaller than Lu shao, decided to help carry him home one day when Lu Shao's mother didn't make it (to school) on time to pick him up.  Since then, he carried Lu Shao to and from school and even to restrooms.  Lui Shi Ching didn't even tell his own parents what he was doing for four years.  When asked how he could carry such a heavy load, he said, "I was happy, helping him out."  Lu Shao wrote in his diary that Lui Shi Ching's help had lifted a dark cloud in his life and let sunshine in.

When I read this story, I was so touched that I knew I had to share it here.  What a selfless act this boy performed for his friend.  And he did it not once, not twice, but for eight years.

Joy for today:  finding such an example of love.

Friday, April 18, 2014

Day 108, April 18

"Growing older frees you from all sorts of previous restrictions and guilt."  -- Betty Friedan

Darn it all.  Even at my advanced age, I still have restrictions and guilt.  But I'm getting over them.

Ten or so years ago, our family traveled to Utah to attend an 80th birthday party for my Aunt Elaine.  Guests were given name tags to wear.  Because I like to mix things up a bit, I went around switching people's name tags.  Imagine my father's surprise when he ended up wearing my name tag. (I tried to explain the humor in that, but Dad only shook his head at me.  My sense of humor sometimes baffled him.)  Anyway, it made for some interesting conversations.

Joy for today:  mixing things up.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Day 107, April 17

"Beauty is accepting what you are, who you are, and how old you are.  Ugliness is whe you try to be something else."  Sohpia Loren

We've talked before about beauty, what it is and what it's not.  Are big breasts beauty?  Maybe.  If they belong to you.  Are wrinkles beauty?  The thinking's divided on that.  I say yes.  I always figured I'd earned every one of my wrinkles.  (Have you ever been chastized by an orthodontist because your braces-wearing child has failed to brush his teeth sufficiently?  Nothing like wallowing in child-induced humility to give a mother wrinkles.)  Are freckles beauty?  Well, I hope so, since I've got lots of these sun kisses.

Joy for today:  accepting who you are.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Day 106, April 16

"Life is a big thing, it's got size, and you shouldn't be applying your passion to puny things."--Peggy Noonan

A few days ago, I used Mother Theresa's words about "small things."  Now I'm quoting someone else, saying "Life is a big thing."  Are these contradictory?

I had to think about it for a while and decided, no, they're not contradictory at all.  For the small things done in great love (Mother Theresa) can become the big things (in the above quote).

I spend my days doing "small things."  I go visiting teaching to the sisters in our ward, I write cards, I am on my knees frequently praying for friends and family.  All small things.  But, I like to believe, they become big things when done with passion and love.

Joy for today:  making small things big.