Tuesday,December 10: giving thanks and opportunities to learn Continuing to reflect on what I am grateful for is helping me so much. I am feeling more peace and joy, despite the busy-ness of the season. And somehow I am feeling more caught up than I had been feeling or usually feel at this time of year. Giving thanks for what I have really does make a difference. It changes things. Or more accurately, it changes me.
It has been a year now since I was called into the Bishop's office and extended a calling as Relief Society President. It has been a year filled with so many emotions and so many experiences, so much growth and learning. I sometimes say that I would love to be called to nursery or to the little ones in Primary...and there is truth in that. I love the little children. They love unconditionally and they are sweet, energetic and innocent. But, at the same time, I would feel so sad to be released right now. I would never have asked for this responsibility, but I am thankful each day that The Lord knew how it would bless my life. I have learned so much. I love these women so very much, and I am blessed by the opportunity to love and serve them. I feel my Savior's love for them and for me. I have learned better to rely on the spirit and listen for its promptings. And I feel like I still have so much more to accomplish and to learn. I love to learn, both secularly and spiritually, and I am thankful for the opportunities I am presented with to learn.
Wednesday, December 11: doctors Today right after school, I got a call from my children's school. Gabby slipped on ice and fell. She split her chin open and needed stitches. I hurried over. When I arrived she and her sisters were in the after school program office, and Michelle and Gabby were hugging each other. Michelle had tears in her eyes, and Gabby was comforting Michelle. She was saying, "I am ok. It's going to be okay." The after school leader told me that she had said, "I just don't want my mom to freak out. I am okay, but I don't want her to freak out." (I DO NOT do blood. It makes me dizzy. I am not calm and collected when there is blood.). So we hurried to an Instacare by our house, and Gabby said it hurt a few times, but she was pretty calm. She cried a bit, but not too much. When we got there, the nurse who examined Gabby was young. She spoke English and Spanish and volunteers at their school (very cool since it isn't near our house...quite a neat coincidence/blessing from The Lord). She told Gabby that if she didn't cry during the stitches, she could have three Popsicles. She cleaned Gabby's chin, put on a gel to numb it and then covered it with tape like stuff. Then we had to wait 20 minutes for it to get numb. Gabby was calm and happy. Then the doctor and nurse came in and she held very still. I held her hand (but had to sit down after a few minutes because I was getting very dizzy) and she was a trooper. She held still, did not cry and was completely calm as the doctor stitched her up. She was so brave...and she happily accepted her three Popsicles.
That night Alfredo and I had his company dinner and they had a babysitter. Gabby had a hard time. She was tired, her chin hurt, and she wanted me to be there with her. But Michelle and Ella helped the babysitter and took good care of her. I was so proud of them.
I am so thankful for doctors. It is not a job I could do. But I am so thankful for those who can. I am grateful for our pediatrician. We had Dr. Wall for nine years, but he left the practice we go to. So now we have Dr. Barrett. They are both great. I am grateful for doctors, hospitals, medication and the blessings of modern medicine.
Thursday, December 12: Alfredo's company As I mentioned, last night was Alfredo's company Christmas dinner. I am thankful for his job. I am thankful for the good health care, retirement and profit sharing benefits that his company provides. I am thankful that he has a job that he enjoys. I am thankful for the income he receives. But most importantly, some of our dearest friends are fellow employees. I am thankful for the friendships that we have all been blessed with because he has this job. These relationships have certainly blessed his life and made his job more enjoyable, but they have also been a blessing for me and for my children.
Friday, December 13: my home. It was so nice tonight to stay home with my family, relax, make gingerbread houses, and spend time together. I am thankful for a nice home to live in. I am thankful for a warm bed, a heater, a kitchen with appliances, a washing machine, and all of the other things we have in our home that make it a nice place to live.
Saturday, December 14th: 12 Days of Christmas. Someone is anonymously giving us gifts for the 12 Days of Christmas. On the first day (yesterday) we got hot chocolate with marshmellows. The second day: Christmas towels. Third day: popcorn. Fourth day: wrapping paper. My kids really want to figure out who is giving it to us. They tried running to the door to see if they could see who it was. When we got the towels, they were sniffing the towels to see if they could figure out whose house they came from. Silly girls. Truly, we live in the best neighborhood on the planet. I hope we don't figure out for sure who is giving them to us, but either way, I am so thankful.
Sunday, Dec. 15: teaching. I love teaching. Sometimes I get a little nervous to teach adults, but I still love teaching. I love teaching school, Primary, Young Womens, and Relief Society. I like the interaction between myself and whoever I am teaching. I like the opportunity to learn new things and gain new insights. When it comes to gospel teaching, I always feel like I gain so much from preparing the lesson. It helps me come to understand the gospel so much better. So when one of our teachers let me know on Saturday evening that she was ill and wouldn't be there at church on Sunday morning, I was grateful for the chance to teach. Sorry that our teacher was sick, and I would always prefer more time to prepare, but grateful to have the chance to teach. The lesson was on Jesus Christ...no better topic to teach on, especially this time of year. I shared quotes from President Snow from the manual. I also shared some quotes from a wonderful article in this month's Ensign by Elder Porter entitled Come, Let Us Adore Him. And I was able to share a video clip from Elder Holland's book For Times of Trouble where he and Sister Holland bear testimony of the Savior. It really helped me to feel and express love and gratitude for my Savior. I am so grateful that I have so many opportunities to teach in both secular and spiritual settings.
Monday, Dec. 16: clothing, esp. warm clothing. It was finally warm enough for our students to go outside for recess today. That, in and of itself, is a cause for celebration/gratitude!! But as I headed outside for recess duty, I was very thankful for a sweater, boots, hoodie, and warm jacket. I am thankful to have shoes to wear and a wide variety of outfits to wear. I am thankful that I have scarves, jackets, gloves, and warm socks. I am thankful for the abundance I have been blessed with.
Tues., Dec. 17: Art I am no artist, but I enjoy doing art projects with my children and my students. We are doing darling but time consuming salt dough handprint Santas with our students. We spent most of the afternoon doing art rotations as a grade level so we could work on this project. We are very fortunate to have an art teacher at our school this year. We received a Beverly Sorensen Taylor art grant. It is wonderful to have a talented art teacher teach our students.
Wednesday, Dec. 18:Christmas cards I love receiving Christmas cards. I love seeing photos of loved ones and reading letters about how their families are doing. Usually Alfredo brings in the mail, but in December I am much more likely to grab the mailbox contents so I can open Christmas cards. I hang them on a door and find myself stopping to look at the photos or to think about these dear Fred's and family members that we love.
Thursday, Dec. 19: Prayer. I am thankful for the gift of prayer. I am thankful for the comfort and peace it brings. I am so thankful for the guidance it often brings to me. I know that our prayers are heard and answered. They aren't always answered in the way we would like or in our timetable. But The Lord does hear. He does answer. I have had many prayers answered personally and have had opportunities to pray for others and sometimes see me Lord answer these prayers as well. I am thankful that my children are learning to pray. When something gets lost or the roads are bad or we experience other day to day challenges, they often ask if we can pray. They have faith. It strengthens mine.
My uncle has been hospitalized with pneumonia since Thanksgiving. He has had complication after complication. He is not doing well. We have been praying sincerely for him. He won't be home for Christmas. I am very concerned for him. But I have faith that our prayers are being heard, and that whatever happens will be His will. Recently on Facebook, I saw this quote by Corrie Ten Boom. "When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don't throw away the ticket and jump off. You sit still and trust the engineer." So, too, when we go through times that feel dark and troubling, we trust our Engineer, our Father, that brighter days are ahead and that He is in control of our journey and ultimate destination if we trust him. Prayer is a blessing. It helps align our will with His.
Friday, Dec. 20: A vacation. Today was our last day before winter break. It was a fun day. We had a field trip to see a play called Snow White Christmas. Soo fun. It was a panto, so it was interactive. After school, ee was a luncheon for all the teachers. Then my kids and I drove to Alfredo's company where they got to see Santa. I was awesome...free, only a five minute wait, and I got photos. This evening Alfredo and Iare going to the last Christmas party of the season at a friend's home. And I now have two weeks off and will spend one week of it in Arizona with my family. So very happy and thankful!