Tuesday, April 12, 2016

Blogging Buffet: J is for Joy

The theme of my A to Z Challenge posts this year is "Blogging Buffet." In celebration of recently posting my 1000th blog post, I am revisiting posts from the past.  This post originally published on Saturday, May 3, 2014.


I've been thinking lately about service and joy.  As some of you know, I am in a position of leadership in my church stake (group of several congregations) women's organization.  We have been busy planning an upcoming women's conference.  Our theme is "Joy."  We're focusing not on the emotion, but rather on the doctrine, which has led me to deeper scripture study, pondering, and prayer.  We will be using the scripture in Romans 5:11:  ". . . we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement."

Joy comes through the atonement of Jesus Christ, and this week I've thought a bit about his life.  I can't imagine him rushing through his day, trying to tackle a long to-do list.  If the Savior of the entire world could manage to devote attention to individuals, then perhaps I can quiet my mind of its "I need to"s and turn my attention toward helping others.  So, I prayed that I might be able to recognize opportunities for service.  As you know, "ask and ye shall receive!"

I'm thankful.

1. On several days this week, I got to provide transportation for a young woman as she filmed different women from our church.  She's making a video for our conference.  I listened as these women answered the question, "What brings you joy?"  Whether the answer was in English or Spanish, the words were heartfelt.  I can't wait to see how the finished project turns out; I imagine that it will be a great introduction to our conference.

2.  I was able to support a good cause and not gain any weight doing it. About a week ago, a local costume shop caught fire.  This was no ordinary costume shop, but an institution in the community--a local mom and pop type shop.  "Daisy's" had provided costumes for many theatrical performances and living art shows, as well as Halloween costumes.  The community has rallied around the owners.  Last week, a cupcake shop donated 100% of its sales to Daisy's.  Tempted though I was, I bought some cupcakes, then dropped them off at a friend's house.  I figured it would be a nice surprise for her and her family, I helped the cupcake shop make a bigger donation, and Daisy's will have more capital to open up again.

3.   It's May, and you know what they say about April showers and May flowers!  I'm in the process of making up little flower buckets for the women from church whom I visit monthly.  I was hoping to get all of the buckets delivered on May Day, but I'm going to be a bit late on some.  I am thankful, though, that I had supplies on hand to throw together a little bucket of cheer.


4.  I had a great opportunity to sit with a group of developmentally disabled women for an afternoon while their caregiver took a break.  What a highlight of my week!  These women were friendly and welcoming.  We watched movies, colored in coloring books, ate snacks, and visited.  One woman was particularly chatty, and our repeated conversations reminded me of conversations with my grandma.  Actually, the inflection of her voice reminded me of my deceased grandma, and her repeated conversations reminded me of my living grandma, so it was easy to enjoy my time with her.  At one point, she stopped to ask me, "Am I talking your ears off?"  I put my hands on either side of my head, and said, "No, they are still attached."  She thought that was funny, and we laughed together. 

5.  A woman from church called and asked if I would help her plant a garden.  She is under the impression I am some sort of expert; I really just subscribe to the "try, try again" method.  I'll pray hard that her tomatoes do well!  Anyway, I enjoyed working with her and getting to know her better.

6.  I had a chance to play the organ in the temple last night.  I frequently play in our local church building, but I don't often play in the temple.  I was a bit nervous about getting the stops set correctly, and was very thankful that someone had provided a written cheat-sheet for the organists.  Spelled out clearly was a list of stops that work well together to produce a pleasing, reverent sound--both for prelude and for congregational singing.  That paper calmed my nerves, and I was able to just concentrate on the music.

7.  Several congregations share our church building, and we take turns doing building cleaning.  May is our ward's month, so we had a chance to spend an hour this morning vacuuming, dusting, and cleaning.  I'm thankful for another opportunity to do service.

8.  I'm thankful for my family, who are my favorite people to serve, and who also understand the joy that comes from service.   

9.  I'm thankful that somehow we managed to keep on top of the daily brushing and vacuuming routine that returned with the homecoming of Drexel, the amazing fur-producing dog.  (He's worth it!)

10.  Sometimes shoes get worn out in service.  (OK, this is a bit of a stretch, but I'm trying to keep with the theme here.)  I'm unlike the stereotypical woman in that I don't really have a shoe "thing".  When I find a pair I like, I tend to literally wear them out.  I'm thankful for inserts, which allow me to extend the life of my favorite shoes!

Photo:  Two very worn out shoe inserts between a pair of red shoes. Yes, I know I waited WAY too long to replace the inserts! My feet are really thankful today, though.

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I'm thankful for the many reminders this week that ". . .when ye are in the service of your fellow beings ye are only in the service of your God." (Mosiah 2:17)  What a joyful week!


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8 comments:

  1. Is it possible that I have been reading you long enough to have recalled this??? I remember #4 especially.... The ears was so cute!!!

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    1. I guess I'm an old friend, now. :-)

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  2. may you always have joy in your life

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  3. So cool that you got to play the organ at the Temple!
    The insole of my oldest pair of TOMS looks much like the one of yours!

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  4. I just love number two. That was such a nice thing for you to do!

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    1. Oh, you don't know how much self-discipline that took! :-)

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