Monday, December 22, 2014

Day 346, December 22

I've written before that I am not a fancy person.  Those who know me well will attest to that.  My home is not fancy; my clothes are not fancy; my car is not fancy.

And that's okay.  My home, my clothes, my car and everything else about me are servicable.  That seems a bland word, a boring word, but a good word all the same.  I like to think that I, too, am servicable.  That I can do what needs to be done when it needs to be done.  Sometimes I falter and fail, then I start again.

Joy for today:  being servicable.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Day 345, December 21

Today is the official mark of winter.  In thinking of it, while I sit in my warm house with plenty of food and heat and all the comforts, I cannot help but think of the pioneers.  Is that strange to ponder about at this time of year?  Surely I should be thinking of Christmas things.  But there you have it--my mind likes to go off on tangents.

The Mormon pioneers left their homes in Nauvoo, Illinois after being driven out by mobs of angry, ignorant men.  The pioneers had little in the way of preparation to face the coming months as they traversed the frozen Mississippi River and made camp in Winter Quarters.

Children were born ... and some died.  Along with mothers and fathers and grandmothers and grandfathers.  Still, the faithful Saints kept moving forward, looking with faith to a new land where they could practice their religion without fear.

They sang; they prayed; they buried their dead.  And then they took up the reins of their oxen (those who were fortunate enough to have wagons) and began again, putting one foot in front of the other.

When I get discouraged, depressed, I think of their example and remind myself that I, too, can put one foot in front of the other and keep moving forward.

Joy for today:  learning from pioneers.

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Day 344, December 20

Yesterday I wrote about Joseph.  I found the following song in the Primary Songbook:


When Joseph went to Bethlehem I think he took great care
To place his tools and close his shop and leave no shavings there.
He urged the donkey forward then, with Mary on its back
And carried bread and goat cheese in a little linen sack.

I think there at the busy inn that he was meek and mild
And awed to be the guardian of Mary's sacred child.
Perhaps all through the chilly hours he smoothed the swaddling bands
And Jesus felt the quiet strength of Joseph's gentle hands.

And close beside the manger bed, he dimmed the lantern's light
And held the litltle Jesus close upon that holy night.

Are those words not perfect to describe the gentle man Joseph must have been?  What a tremendous responsibility and honor he had to take upon him the care and protection of the Christ Child.

Joy for today:  thinking of Joseph.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Day 343, December 19

My favorite Christmas songs and hymns are those that focus on Mary.  Our Primary songbook contains an especially lovely song "Mary's Lullaby" that brings me to tears each time I hear the children sing it.

However, my thoughts turn to Joseph as well.  Sometimes he is the forgotten man at Christmas.  Yet he played a pivotal role in Christ's birth and upbringing.  It was Joseph who took care of Mary when he might have well turned her away or had her stoned.  It was Joseph who found shelter for the pregnant Mary.  It was Joseph who taught the young Jesus how to work with his hands in carpentry.

Joy for today:  remembering Joseph.

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Day 342, December 18

It is one week before Christmas.  And I'm pretty much at peace.  Did I get everything done that I wanted to?  Of course not.  Did I get the things done that meant the most to me?   For the most part, yes.

When I was a young mother, I was frantic.  I had to make Christmas presents.  (I'm still not sure why, as no one liked what I made anyway, but there you have it.)  I had to bake cookies with my children.  I had to decorate my house with crafts I had made myself.  (I look back in abject horror at some of my crafting attempts.)  The list continued.

Are those bad things?  No.  But wisdom and a whole lot of years under my belt (or in my bra) have given me a different perspective.

Joy for today:  not being frantic.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Day 341, December 17

At this time of year, we often take stock, reflecting on what is ... and what isn't ... important in our lives.

Here is a partial look at my list:


Handwritten Christmas cards with a personal message.


A beautifully decorated house.


Being able to help our grandchildren wtih braces, special classes, etc.


A new car.  (Mine is circa 2000.)


Paying tithing to the Lord.


Expensive clothes.  (I am queen of garage sales.)


Loyalty to my friends.


Wordly awards.

Doubtless you have other things on your list.  Take a moment or two and decide what belongs on your important list and what you can let go.  It may surprise you.

Joy for today:  evaluating my priorities.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Day 340, December 16

I found this on a Christmas plaque:


Would have asked for directions,
arrived on time,
helped deliver the baby,
cleaned the stable,
made a casserole,
brought practical gfits,
and then
there would be

Perhaps it's a bit facetious, but it makes a certain sense.  I think of my women friends and can see each of them in these "Three Wise Women."  My friends see a problem, step in without fanfare or ceremony, and take care of it.  All of this is done with no thought of gratitude or reward or recognition.

Joy for today:  having many "Three Wise Women" as friends.