Sunday, March 20, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Happy Spring Edition

I'm calling this the Happy Spring Edition, because it is spring, but my thankfuls this week seem a bit heavy for this time of year. 
1.  I'm thankful for a great compassionate service coordinator in the Relief Society.  For whatever reason, there have been a lot of needs in the ward lately.  Janet helps me by making phone calls, passing around sign-up sheets, and generally coordinating the sisters to help those who need help.  

2.  I'm thankful for the humble gratitude that is expressed by those who receive help.  The stresses of life are not easy, and we will all experience challenges at some time or another.  Being able to graciously accept offers of help is sometimes more difficult than being able to give help.  I'm thankful for those who allow service to be given.  

3.  I'm thankful for those who give service.  Most are quick to minimize their efforts, or feel badly that they can't give more help, but just like in the book, Stone Soup, when many people give a small contribution, the result is that needs are met.  

4.  I'm thankful for hope.  In talking to those who are having difficult times, they express sadness, but not despair.  Hope is a wonderful gift, and allows us to realize we are much more than our trials.  

5.  I'm thankful that spring is a visual reminder of hope.  The landscape greens, even here in the desert.  The plants leaf out; the flowers bloom.  The cyclical nature of life is made manifest, and we can find joy in the new growth.

Photo:  Close-up of buds on an apple tree

6.  I'm thankful I had a chance to attend a baptism yesterday.  It's always nice to see the happiness that accompanies a baptismal service.  

7.  I'm thankful for all of my children, but particularly thought of oldest daughter yesterday, as she celebrated her quarter-century mark.  I miss her toothless sweet baby smiles, but am so proud of the woman she has grown to become.

8.  I'm thankful for friends I have never met.  I'm constantly amazed at this blogging thing.  I've never met many of you, and yet you have shared ideas, support, prayers, encouragement--and have allowed me to reciprocate.  Thanks!

9.  I'm thankful for the opportunity I had to speak in sacrament meeting today.  Preparing a talk always allows me the chance to study and ponder about a topic.  This week I've been thinking a lot about our need to ask.  In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said, "Askand it shall be given you; seekand ye shall find; knockand ishall be opened unto you." (Matthew 7:7)  In the Bible Dictionary, we read:
The object of prayer is not to change the will of God but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant but that are made conditional on our asking for them. 
Praying for something doesn't always guarantee it will happen--it has to be the will of the Lord, and we don't always understand his purposes or timing, or his allowance of the agency of others--but it seems to me that we have an obligation to ask.  

10.  I'm thankful for John.  We had the chance to go to the temple Friday night.  After we participate in the temple session, we take time to talk quietly and discuss insights that we have had during the ordinance.  I appreciate the time we have to learn from each other.  


Well, that list turned out to be pretty heavy for a happy spring edition, but I'm sticking with the title.  :-)  

How has your week gone?  What are you thankful for?  



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23 comments:

  1. I'm amazed at this blogging thing, too. These days, running an after school program and managing 55 kids and nearly 40 college kids to volunteer and help out with the program, I feel like my head is spinning.
    But blogging. I keep coming back to it - no matter how much my head spins. The people I meet and the intertwining of lives leaves me so...in awe of how we humans are just part of a big family with different values, tastes, perspectives and yet we have created a world of peace and love. I'm thankful for you!!!

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  2. It's hard to see so many people in need, but how wonderful that your Relief Society was able to help! And a baptism and signs of spring are certainly not heavy! And I am definitely with you on #8. Isn't it amazing that we can be friends (COUSINS, even!) and never met in person?

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    1. It is definitely amazing! But you are coming in June for the Sound of Music sing-along, right? You practically promised! ;-)

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  3. That was a beautiful list, my friend. I haven't been over here in a while, and wanting to come by to say hello! Your thankfuls are deeply touching. I appreciate them and you.

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    1. Thank you! I need to pop over and visit your blog, too--I've been neglectful of blog reading lately! You always have such sweet things to say!

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  4. A visual reminder of hope....ah, I like that. What a tremendous list. Isn't there such blessing in giving?

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  5. Spring is my favorite time of year. Although I thrive when it's warm in summer, I love the promiss of Spring. The returning of life everywhere makes me hopefull of good times ahead.
    I love your TTOT, as always. Congrats with oldest daughter.
    I would love to meet someday if possible, but I hope we can stay blogging friends even if we'll never do. Thank you for being a good friend.

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    1. Oh, meeting in person is not a requirement of friendship! If we ever do meet, it will be wonderful, but if not, we will still be friends! :-)

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  6. Perfect list.all true....love your 9th...

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  7. Love the photo of the budding apple blossoms.
    :-)
    I love the bloom of spring, the promise of apples in fall. I love apples and the words blossom and bloom.
    :-)

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    1. Isn't it funny how certain words can be so delightful?

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  8. Springtime is an incredibly beautiful time of year. Somehow, (almost) everything seems just a little bit "lighter" when the flowers start coming up and the buds on the trees begin to pop.
    It's an unfortunate fact that there are so many folks who are in need of assistance. How wonderful you have a community who reach out on a regular basis to provide help to these individuals and their families.
    Happy, Belated Birthday to your oldest daughter, Kristi! Oh, to be 25 again :D
    I wholeheartedly agree...this "blogging thing" is amazing! Never in a million years did I think when I bought my first computer that one day I would get the chance to know, nevermind meet irl, people I'd met on the internet.
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

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    1. I sound like an old person when I speak of how much technology has changed in my lifetime, but it is truly mind-boggling!

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  9. I was told that prayer will always be answered, but that the answer might be "No, Later, or Yes" So...there's that, and I hope you find peace within the praying, if not the knowing.

    Glad springtime's happening for you :) Hope it keeps cheering you on.

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    1. You are right about the answer to prayers. The peace does come within the praying, and the knowledge that the prayers are heard.

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  10. For so many women, the receiving of help is so much harder to do than to give it. Silly of us, isn't it? How can we give if there is no one to receive? We all take our turns on both sides.
    I've been praying for some heavy things myself these days. Asking is important, but we must remember His will is what will be done. The praying is not wasted time or words regardless.
    I like that I can now picture a bit better what you mean when you say you and John went to temple, now that I've toured one. :)

    Blogging friends are fantastic. (Thank you again for the text!)

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    1. I hope that your prayers will bring you some peace. Prayer is such an act of faith; it takes faith to ask, and it takes faith to realize that God's will will be done.

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  11. I always love your thankful lists and I, too am thankful for the nice people -- such as yourself -- that I now call friend because of blogging. Have a great week!

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    1. Thank you! Hope your week is wonderful, too!

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Thanks for making this a conversation. I love to hear your comments!