Thursday, November 28, 2013

Thankful...Days 24-30

Sunday, Nov. 24: Primary teachers and Primary Presidency I am so thankful for each of my children's Primary teachers. My girls love Primary, and they love their teachers. Michelle loves Sister Wyatt; Gabby loves Sister DeLaMare. Ella's teacher was Sister Parker, but she was recently released and called to be the Activity Day Leader. both Ella and Michelle love her. Ella's new teacher was called today. It will be Brother Carpenter. I know he is also a phenomenal teacher. I feel so thankful that their teachers love them, love the gospel, and teach them so well.

I am also very thankful for the Primary Presidency. This past week, each of my children received a personal, handwritten note from the Primary Presidency. It meant a great deal to them, and I appreciate the time and effort that the Primary Presidency put into writing a note to each child in our primary. They are wonderful, loving, kind women that love and serve our children. I am thankful that my girls have so many good examples of righteous women.

Monday, Nov. 25: My Savior Jesus Christ I am so thankful for the example that Jesus Christ set. I am thankful for His Atonement, and that I can repent of my sins. I give thanks that He loves me and that I can follow His example and strive daily to become more like Him. Yesterday Julie Cannon taught a beautiful lesson about being meek. It was based on Elder Soares' talk in conference. I was struck by this quote:
"Meekness is vital for us to become more Christlike. Without it we won’t be able to develop other important virtues. Being meek does not mean weakness, but it does mean behaving with goodness and kindness, showing strength, serenity, healthy self-worth, and self-control." (It reminded me again of my favorite quote from Sister Nadauld about the kind of women the world has versus the kind of women the world needs.) I want to become more show strength, serenity, self-worth and self-control. That word serenity stands out to me. I'm not sure that serenity is a word that others would use to describe me...but I sure would like to develop more serenity.

The Savior was and is a perfect example of being humble and meek and charitable. The path to true joy and peace is to follow in His footsteps and become more like Him. I am so thankful for my understanding of the Atonement. My heart overflows with gratitude when I ponder on the priceless gift my Savior gave to me. There aren't really words to express how important this gift is. I am thankful for the sacrament which reminds me of his Atonement weekly, and for the scriptures and teachings of the prophets which teach and testify of Him. He is my Savior, my Redeemer, and my Elder Brother.

I am thankful.

Tuesday, November 26: My job, my coworkers, my students
When I was younger, I dreamed of getting married, having children and being a stay at home mom. For the most part, my dreams have come true...and it is both harder and better than I dreamed it would be. But I have not been able to be a stay at home mom. Sometimes I feel sad about that, and sometimes I worry whether I am doing enough as a mom. But I also feel very grateful for my job. I feel thankful that my job helps to provide for my family, and allows us to give them lessons and other opportunities. I feel thankful that if I have to work, I have a job that I know is important and that I honestly believe and feel is part of my mission here in this life. I have a job where I get to work with children, and I hope provide a safe and encouraging place where we can learn together. I also have a job that gives me my summers off to spend with my own children. I have a job that challenges me (and sometimes overwhelms me) and that I am passionate about. I work at a school with incredibly dedicated ladies and I have many dear friends among my coworkers. And I have wonderful children in my class that I love.

Wednesday, November 27: My parents I am so very thankful for my parents and all that they did to teach me. I have been blessed to have a mom and dad and a stepdad that love me and have taught me and set good examples for me. I am so grateful for the patient, calm mom I have. She never raised her voice (oh, how I want to be like her in that way!). She read to us daily and took us to the library often. For several years, she took us to church on her own during a period in which my dad was inactive and then after my parents divorced. My grandparents were in our ward for most (all?) of that time, but it still must have been challenging. My mom set an amazing example of forgiving others after my parents' divorce. She never spoke unkindly about my dad and forgave him for the hurt he caused. She is a wonderful grandma, and she regularly sends cards or notes to my kids...for big and small holidays. She calls them regularly and reads what I write on this blog and then asks them questions about things I have written. She is the best mom/grandma. I am so thankful for her.

My dad is very smart, and I have always appreciated that when we were young we were allowed to listen and even share our opinions in the adults' conversations about politics and other topics. I think it helped build my critical thinking skills. My dad has made some mistakes in his life, and it has been a blessing for me to watch as he repented and returned to full activity in the church. It helped me understand and appreciate the Atonement more. He adores my children, and I am thankful for him.

My stepdad joined our family when I was a teenager, and he helped establish some important habits...daily scripture study and family prayer and Family Home Evening. He has been a good example of accepting and magnifying callings. He has been a great example of doing missionary work and being a member missionary. He loves us, and he loves my mom and treats her wonderfully. I am thankful to have such great parents for myself and such great grandparents for my children.

Thursday, November 28: The priesthood
I am so thankful for the power of the priesthood, and for those who honor their priesthood and use it to bless others. My uncle Phil is in the hospital. He was rushed there yesterday. He has a serious case of pneumonia. The doctor told my aunt that if he hadn't come to the hospital yesterday, he most likely would have died. Today, even though it was Thanksgiving, I called my aunts' home teachers for her (I was at her house helping to get Thanksgiving dinner ready and she was hurrying to get back to the hospital). And despite having company in town, their home teacher was at the hospital within 20 minutes to give my uncle a blessing. I am so thankful that we have the power of the priesthood. It has been a blessing in my life, and I am thankful of the blessings of comfort and healing it can bring.

Friday, November 29: Christmas decorations
I love Christmas! I love the lights, the trees, the music, the gifts, the stories, and I love the decorations. (And I especially love remembering why we celebrate this season.). I look forward to the day after Thanksgiving and to putting up our decorations. I love watching and helping my children decorate the fun tree downstairs and watching as Alfredo gets the tree upstairs perfect. (This year he did something new and the tree upstairs is decorated with all of the kids' webkinz and stuffed animals...some are holiday stuffed animals and some aren't.) I love getting out the nativities. And I love coming home from work each day to smell ponderosa pine cones and to the beautiful lights, wreaths, snow globes and other decorations.

Saturday, November 30: Time with family and the temple We had a great day together. We went to breakfast together at Kneaders and then did some shopping at Target (although all we ended up buying was wrapping paper and tape.). Then we came home and did some work outside...cutting down a tree and hanging lights outside. My kids played with friends for awhile. Then we headed downtown to see the lights at Temple Square. It is so beautiful and peaceful there. There were a lot of others there (in fact we saw the Cannons from our ward.) But despite the crowds, when we stood and listened to the narration of the birth of Christ, I had tears streaming down my face. Gabby kept singing, "Simply having, a wonderful Christmas time." It was wonderful to be there and to be together. Then we headed to City Creek and enjoyed the lights there, and we did a little window shopping. Finally, we enjoyed ice cream. It was a great day!

I am so thankful for the temple. I love the way I feel when I am there, and I am grateful for the blessings the temple has brought into my life. I know that I am a beloved daughter of God, and every time I attend the temple I am reminded of how much my Father and my Savior love me. I am thankful to have a place of such beauty and peace...and so very grateful that there are so many temples nearby.