Living for those We Love

"We can lay down our lives for those we love not by physically dying for them, but rather by living for them -- giving of our time; always being present in their lives; serving them; being courteous, affectionate and showing true love for those of our family and to all men -- as the Savior taught." ~Elder Claudio R.M. Costa

This reminds me of something that Erma Bombeck said once [I think it was her and I'm paraphrasing here] that I liked a lot: that when she died, she wanted to be used up and worn out, and not just have made her way through her life not doing things for others. I love that thought. I'm always grateful for another opportunity to make a difference [small or large] to someone else. Maybe a Primary child who needed a smile and a hug. Maybe a family with a new baby who needed a meal. Maybe just being there when someone needed me -- and never even really knowing it.

Understanding the Savior's life makes it clear: He did die for us, but He also lived for us. He is our best example of patience, teaching, loving, healing and sharing.

All we have to do now is to follow.

picture by Liz Lemon Swindle


Peace and Happiness

"God can't give us peace and happiness apart from Himself because there is no such thing." ~C.S. Lewis

I've been feeling very peaceful and happy lately, and today was pondering on what it is that has made me feel this way. Family, of course. The love I have for a wonderful husband, the happiness I feel as I spend time with my adult children and their spouses, and probably most especially, the joy that I have been blessed with as I love and enjoy our precious grandchildren and Primary children all add up to peace and happiness, for sure. Extended family and friends that feel like family make life nearly perfect.

But I stumbled upon this quote today and it all clicked and fell precisely into place in my mind. The peace and happiness I feel is because I have God in my life. And clearly His presence in my life is manifested in all the things I love and cherish: my family, the beautiful place I live and the opportunities and challenges that are placed in my path. I am more than blessed, I know.

And how grateful I am to know what I do: that He lives, that He loves us and that we can have peace through Him.

[picture found here http://www.warmfrogstudio.com/art/happiness.html]


An Attitude of Gratitude

Isn't this the truth? I am so grateful for the happy life that I lead. Of course there are problems, there are frustrations and mistakes. And we all know that nothing is perfect. But in general, I am very blessed and I know it. Which, in comparison to the things I know go on in the world and in other people's lives makes me feel guilty. I mean, why me, really? I'm not so good or so special.

I've come to understand that I will never understand the differences that I see in people's lives. I don't have that kind of eternal vision - -but I also understand that it's important for me to be kind, helpful and understanding, even when I don't really understand. And I need to be always remember to be grateful.

That's my goal.


Look What Came to My House Today!

Can you say 'beautiful'? This is an amazing book. I found it browsing online and decided on a whim to order it. I didn't need it. I have the Primary song book, and several that precede the current one [because I'm old!] But I wanted it. A lot.

It came today and it's even better than I had thought. It's not only got lots of favorite Primary songs in it that are not in the regular Primary book [do note that this is not a Church publication, just a compilation that someone did], like 'Scripture Power', 'Holding Hands Around the World', 'My Eternal Family' and 'If the Savior Stood Beside Me', it also has old favorites like 'Book of Mormon Stories', 'Popcorn Popping on the Apricot Tree', etc. It also has little write-ups by the authors and composers of those songs, explaining how the song came to be, which I love to read.

And the pictures? Heavenly. By such well-known names as Liz Lemon Swindle, Greg Olsen, Simon Dewey, Del Parson and others -- how do you go wrong? It's a hard-cover, spiral bound book that you can find here.

Anyone who knows me will know that this was a no-brainer for me. Children + music + gospel + heart-touching pictures = something I needed. Check it out. Children too young to read willl love paging through this, looking at the pictures [me too!] and singing the songs. And those old enough to read will enjoy reading the stories behind the songs. And us old people will just love all of it.

Looks like something to add to the family library.


I Know He Lives!

Yesterday I got to sub for our chorister Joan [who is wonderful, by the way] and realized once again, that music + children + the gospel = wonderful. The new song we are learning [which pretty much presents the theme for the year] absolutely brings an outpouring of the spirit and I know all the children could feel it.

It starts with the story of the Savior with the children [as found in 3 Nephi 17, which is one of the most tender and sweet stories in the Book of Mormon, I think], telling about how the children there were able to sit on His knee and see the tears on His face. But the thing I like best is that after telling this wonderful story, it goes on to apply those teachings to our children, here and now.

The chorus is pure and simple testimony, being borne through song by the purest and sweetest singers of all: the children. There hasn't been a time that I could get through that part of the song without tears of my own -- but yesterday, I managed to do it as I directed the children as they sang it. Their voices just soared over the chorus: "I know He lives! I will follow faithfully. My heart I give to Him -- I know that my Savior loves me!"

It doesn't get better than that and I was so thankful for the opportunity to not only be there with the children yesterday, but to take part as they sang their testimonies. What a precious gift -- and once again, I am so grateful for the blessing of the Primary in my life.