"How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these." ~George Washington Carver

These past few days have been full of ups and downs. Hearing news of yet more friends losing job, of serious illness, and generally concern over what's going on in life has reminded me of the importance of awareness, and more than that, of kindness. There are so many that are fighting battles that we don't know about and need some tenderness and compassion from those who interact with them.

To me, it means that my awareness needs to be heightened, that my kindness, compassion and sympathy need to be part of my everyday persona. That everyone needs to be treated with love and concern so that even if I don't know someone's specific needs, they will still have been treated with care.

And it's not about how far I go in life right now [despite what the above quote says], for me it's about making sure others are treated with love and helping to lift their burdens.

**picture by David Bowman


Mom knows Best

Back in the day [when I was younger and dumber] I remember hearing my mom say things that I swore I would never say when I was in the exalted position of mom. You know, because those 'mom-isms' are so lame and so hard to listen to, especially by kids who really do know everything.


After lots of years of experiences and learning, I now know Mom did [and still does] know best. So when I hear her words coming out of my mouth, I get the same little reminder in my head. Time to call my Mom!!


I want these Chairs!

My smile for the day.


Safety during Uncertainty

"Our values develop our character and our character creates our destiny. When we're out of touch with our values, we are blown about like autumn leaves, caught up in mindless routines . . . but when we affirm our guiding values, our lives are inspired by our deepest beliefs." ~Diane Dreher

These are scary times. I just read this on my Natalie's blog and I can't say it any better than she did. There are people out of work, there are people who are sick and there are people with problems that I can't even begin to understand. What is it I can and should do?

As I ponder that question, the answers that come are the same safe "Mormon answers" that I used to chide my seminary students about giving. I need to hang on to my beliefs, I need to read and study my scriptures, I need to be a loving wife, mom and grandma, and I need to be an example. I need to find ways to lift others and I need to love. These are my guiding values, my deepest beliefs.

I want to be the safe harbor for someone in need. I want to be the loving arms that someone rushes into. I want people to know that I love the gospel and the guidance and blessings it provides. I want my friends and family to feel sustained by the love I have for them. I want my Primary to hear and feel the strength of my testimony and my love.

These are the things I rely on in these uncertain times.


My Smile for Today

I'm preparing to teach an adult Institute-type class again this semester, and this time it's Book of Mormon. I am so jazzed to be studying this with an eye towards teaching it -- and this cartoon caught my eye today.

Love it.


Eternal Families

“If you live to be a hundred, I want to live to be a hundred minus one day, so I never have to live without you.” ~Winnie the Pooh

Not generally a Winnie the Pooh fan, but this little quote touched me today. That's how I feel about my family. Every single one of them. Which makes me so thankful for the gift of eternal families.


On Time and Love

"The sum which two married people owe to one another defies calculation. It is an infinite debt, which can only be discharged through eternity." ~Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If this quote is true, [and I think it is], then I have incurred an enormous debt. Mark is thoughtful, funny, patient, bright, hard-working, spiritually in tune, cute, and there is no one who loves his family more than he does. We will be celebrating a big anniversary this year [not till December - -but it's coming!] and as I think back over the years we've shared, I realize that the debt I owe does defy calculation.

He has enriched my life in so many ways, and has made my life more fun, more exciting, and more secure. As we have moved across the country and back, I have learned things I could learn no other way. Having grown up in one house and one small town, moving was foreign to me until we were married. Then it became a way of life, a new adventure. But even when I was nervous about it, I always had Mark with me and as time passed, our family as well.

How lucky [blessed, really] I am. And how thankful I am that I do have an eternity to repay the debt that I owe.


The Year Ahead

"Life is too short to wake up in the morning with regrets. So love the people who treat you right, forget about the ones who don't and believe that everything happens for a reason. If you get a chance, take it. If it changes your life, let it. Nobody said that it'd be easy, they just promised it would be worth it." ~Author Unknown

These are wise words. And now is the right time to change a mindset, to take a chance and to step into what seems to be the darkness. It's a time to throw ourselves into something new and scary, and to have the faith to believe that it will make a difference in our own lives, and maybe someone else's too.

A new year is an exciting time. It's wonderful to have the opportunity to continue on the current and happy path, but fun to be able to add a new dimension to what is already there -- and to know that all the efforts will be worth their cost.

Yay for 2009!!

picture via flickr


A New Year

Yesterday was our first ward meeting at the truly [most horrible] awful time of 2 - 5 p.m. Can I just say how much I was dreading dealing with tired, restless children from 3-5? Especially when that formula includes a brand-new group of Sunbeams, some barely 3 years old? I had nightmares, I can tell you.

But I was pleasantly surprised. I think having dealt with the 'Primary new year' syndrome in past years helped a lot. We knew what we had to do and have found the best ways to deal with things [at least we know what not to do!] from past experience.

And the kids were great. We had a terrific pizza party the day before, where we met most of our Primary teachers, learned interesting and silly facts about them and then had a pizza picnic together. We also tried to make sure the incoming Senior Primary children knew where they had to go, and we had invited the incoming Sunbeams into Jr. Singing and Sharing Time for 2 weeks in December. So they were better prepared than before, I think.

Yesterday was wonderful. With a few small exceptions, it went smoothly and the new classes were excited about their new teachers and the new dynamic that comes with a new year. I was nervous about Sharing Time as Fast Sunday is always hard and the first Sunday of a new year is complicated. But it went very well.

We have wonderful teachers and wonderful children. I'm feeling like this will be a memorable year together as we explore the blessings of "My Eternal Family."

*Love the cartoon! That's how I feel when we get new Primary teachers! Yay!!!


Happy New Year!

. . . which leads to at least one more resolution: to make sure I keep exercise high on my list of priorities!

Happy New Year!