Saturday, December 3, 2016

#LightTheWorld: Helping Others to See



  When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing.”
John 9:6–7
Today's #LightTheWorld topic:  Jesus Helped Others to See, and So Can You.  When I read this topic, I knew immediately how I would participate, and I imagine that if you've been reading my blog for a while, you could guess, too. 

Photo:  Black lab guide dog puppy Willow


Though I am not actively raising a guide dog puppy at the moment, I am still involved with the local puppy raising club, and highly recommend checking out www.guidedogs.com.  Guide Dogs for the Blind has puppy raisers in the following states:  Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Nevada, Oregon, Texas, Utah, and Washington.  However, the clients who receive working guides are not restricted to those western states.  I love the fact that the guide dogs are provided at no charge to the blind recipients.  In fact, there is no charge for any of the services; the clients' transportation to the campus for training is also provided, for example. 

The number one objection I hear from people about raising guide dog puppies is, "I could never give them up." Yet most of these people are parents, whose children do grow up, do move out, and do go on to pursue careers.  Having a guide dog puppy leave my home is much like sending a child to college.  I missed my children when they left home, but that didn't keep me from raising them! 

Photo:  We send Reno back on the puppy truck, and pick up Drexel

Raising a guide dog isn't a decades-long commitment; the puppy arrives at about 8-9 weeks old, and stays in the home until it is about 14-18 months old.  At that point, it returns to the campus of Guide Dogs for the Blind, and the raiser can either receive another puppy right away, or take a little break from raising.  The responsibility of puppy raisers is to socialize the puppies and teach basic obedience.  The puppy clubs train the puppy raisers. No experience is needed to become a puppy raiser--just willingness to learn and follow protocol.

Photo:  Guide dog puppy Deedee walks in sand

Here is a short video from Guide Dogs for the Blind about puppy raising:


Of course, there are other ways to be involved with Guide Dogs for the Blind besides raising a puppy. I encourage you to visit their website and see what you could do! 




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Friday, December 2, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Lighting the World Edition

It's only December 2nd, but the Christmas spirit is in full force here.  No, my tree is not up yet.  No, I'm not done wrapping presents. I've baked no cookies and hung no lights, but I am basking in the happiness of the season.  Let me explain:

1.  I'm thankful for the #LightTheWorld campaign.  For each of the first 25 days in December, another example is given of how Jesus served others, and a challenge is given to find a similar way to serve.  The focus is on following his example, looking outward, and doing good.  "25 Days, 25 Ways."  I really love this!


2.  To expand a bit (because really, #1 counts for more than just one),  I'm thankful for the chance youngest daughter and I had to put together bags for some of the homeless people in our area. Even though we assembled more bags than we found recipients, we have bags in the car ready to hand out whenever we see someone in need.


Photo:  Contents of bag: water bottle, applesauce,granola bars,lip balm, socks
3.  I'm thankful for my grandma, who will be celebrating her 100th birthday in just over a month's time.  I'm having fun helping with some of the preparations for her big celebration.  (Let me know if you'd like to send a birthday card to her.  Doesn't 100 cards for 100 years have a nice ring to it?)


Photo:  After I submitted my grandma's info. to the Today Show for possible birthday greetings, I was given this photo
4.  I'm thankful for the safe travels of John's parents, his brother and sister-in-law, and our son and daughter-in-law, as they headed back to their respective homes after Thanksgiving.  It was good to have them stay with us for a few days.

5. I'm thankful for my granddaughters, who are each now a year older.  The preschool years are so much fun!

6.  I'm thankful for humor, which sometimes comes from unlikely sources.  This week, I received a telemarketing call.  When I asked to be put on the do-not-call list, the man asked me if I was on the national do not call registry.  When I said that I was (which I am), he said, "You do realize, don't you, that lying about being on the do not call registry is a federal offense?"  That was so ridiculous that I couldn't help but laugh aloud.  I politely told him that calling a number that is on the do not call is what is actually an offense.  I then hung up, blocked his number, and reported his number to the Federal Trade Commission.  What did he expect? That I would say, "Oh, please, don't report me!  I will buy your product!" I'm baffled at his "logic" and it makes me laugh.  

7.  I'm thankful for Ivy.  I received a sweet, homemade advent calendar from her this week.  What really impressed me is that she wrote a scriptural reference for each day--not only from the Bible, but also from the Book of Mormon.  That just really touched me, that someone who isn't Mormon would take the time to find verses in the Book of Mormon that referenced the birth of Jesus Christ.  


Photo:  Advent calendar, with 1 Nephi 19:9 as the scripture reference for Dec. 9th

8.  I'm also thankful for, and in behalf of, Drexel.  Ivy also sent Drexel a toy, and you can tell from this video that it was definitely a hit!



video

9.  I'm so, so thankful to have met (in person!) Cheryl, Christian's mom.  I blogged about how John and I met Christian back in September.  I've been in contact with Cheryl via phone calls and texts since then, and have been relieved and delighted to hear about Christian's progress.  Someday we will meet Christian again, but today we got to meet his mom.  What a lovely woman!  It's an odd thing to be total strangers, and yet share such a scary moment in her son's life.  We were simultaneously like family, and yet we all asked the basic get-to-know you questions like "How many kids do you have?" and "What is your last name?" (Up until now, her last name in our house has been "Christian's Mom" and apparently my last name in her house has been "911 Angel"!)

We went to a Christmas creche festival together, then out for a meal.  The time passed quickly as we talked like old friends. Fortunately, Cheryl remembered that we needed to get selfies of our meeting!  


Photo: John, me, and Cheryl outside the restaurant
10.  As always, I'm thankful for John.  I woke up this morning and realized that he had put an extra blanket on the bed last night sometime after I had mentioned I was cold.  I had just said it as a statement, but he fixed my problem.  What a sweet guy!

What are you thankful for this week?  Want to join in #LightTheWorld ?




Ten Things of Thankful


 Your hosts






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#LightTheWorld: Jesus Honored His Parents, and So Can You

How did yesterday's challenge go?  I have to admit, it was harder than I thought it would be for us to hand out bags to people in need--not that the actual giving was difficult, but due to the fact that we had a hard time finding people!  The corners that typically have people holding signs asking for help were strangely barren.  We were able to hand out about half of what we prepared.  The rest sit in the car, waiting for the next time we see someone in need. Overall, though, it was a good experience.  

Today's topic is:  Jesus Honored His Parents, and So Can You. If you visit the link, you will find a bunch of ideas on how you might participate.  While all of those ideas are good, you are welcome to come up with your own ideas, too.  

Next month, my grandma will turn 100 years old, so I've been thinking about how to help celebrate with her.  I've requested a White House greeting, nominated her to be acknowledged on the Today Show, and messaged the Deseret News about inclusion in their Centenarians column of the Church News. After filling out the form for the Today Show, I was given the chance to download a special  Smuckers photo, so in case she isn't chosen to be recognized on the show, she still has that.  I used a recent photo my dad took, and I think this came out nicely, don't you?  (And can you believe that young-looking person is nearly 100?!)


My mom is working hard to take care of the details of the party. I've never been to a 100th birthday party before--have you?  I'm open to ideas or suggestions on other ways to celebrate.  I did read that some National Parks lodging is free for those born in 1916, but she misses that by a few days.  :-)  

Could I ask a favor? Would you be willing to send my sweet grandma a birthday card? If you are, let me know and I will email or message you the address. Thank you for helping me honor my (grand)parent!  



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Thursday, December 1, 2016

#LightTheWorld: Jesus Lifted Others' Burdens and So Can You

One of my favorite scriptures is Matthew 11:29-30: 
Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls.
 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.
Today is the kick-off for the #LightTheWorld Christmas initiative. The idea is that each day until Christmas, we will be inspired by someway that Jesus provided service to others, and we will do a similar service. 

My youngest daughter has a lot of compassion, and is concerned about the homeless people we see around town.  We decided that to start our participation with #LightTheWorld, we would assemble kits that we could give to people we encountered who were begging for food or money.  The kits were simple, but hopefully met some needs. 

Photo:  Gallon-sized bag containing supplies for people in need

Inside a gallon-sized plastic bag, we placed:  a pair of heavy, dark socks; a bottle of water; applesauce; granola bars; and lip balm. 

Photo:  Water  bottle, applesauce, granola bars, lip balm, and socks
This morning we are going to drive around town to all the places where we usually see people holding up signs asking for help.  I know this won't solve the bigger issue of homelessness, but I hope that in some small way, these kits will lift individual burdens.

How will you lift a burden today?



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Wednesday, November 30, 2016

Are You Ready to #LightTheWorld ?



Tomorrow is December 1st, and the kick-off to the #LightTheWorld campaign:  25 Days, 25 Ways.  Each day focuses on another action of Jesus Christ, and invites us to follow His example.  

A photograph of a Nativity reenactment, paired with the words “Love’s Pure Light."
Photo:  Mary, Joseph, and baby Jesus with the caption: "Love's Pure Light  At Christmastime and always, the Light of Christ helps us find our way (See John 8:12)."

I'll be posting each day about what the daily focus is, but here's a sneak peek so you can be thinking ahead about what service you might do:

December 1st:  Jesus Lifted Others' Burdens and So Can You
December 2nd:  Jesus Honored His Parents and So Can You
December 3rd:  Jesus Helped Others to See and So Can You
December 4th:  Jesus Worshipped His Father and So Can You
December 5th:  Jesus Healed the Sick and So Can You
December 6th:  Jesus Read the Scriptures and So Can You
December 7th:  Jesus Fed the Hungry and So Can You
December 8th:  Jesus Prayed for Others and So Can You
December 9th:  Jesus Visited the Lonely and So Can You
December 10th:  Jesus Helped People to Walk and So Can You
December 11th:  Jesus Ministered to Children and So Can You
December 12th:  Jesus Taught Others and So Can You
December 13th: Jesus Showed Humility and So Can You
December 14th: Jesus Taught Us to Clothe the Naked and So Can You
December 15th: Jesus Worshipped Through Song and So Can You
December 16th:  Jesus Showed Compassion and So Can You
December 17th:  Jesus Cared for His Mother and So Can You
December 18th:  Jesus Honored the Sabbath and So Can You
December 19th:  Jesus Calmed the Storm and So Can You
December 20th:  Jesus Saw Potential in Others and So Can You
December 21st:   Jesus Forgave Others and So Can You
December 22nd:  Jesus Showed Gratitude and So Can You
December 23rd:  Jesus was a Peacemaker and You Can Be One
December 24th:  Jesus Cared for His Loved Ones and So Can You
December 25th:  Jesus's Disciples Followed Him and So Can We

I absolutely love this initiative--primarily because it puts the focus of Christmas where it should be, but also because it is totally flexible.  I can participate in ways big or small, as my time or energy allows.  

Will you join me?  I'd love to hear how you are giving service during this Christmas season!


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Thanks for the chance to look for service opportunities.

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