Sunday, December 18, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Another Week to #LightTheWorld

This month, I've been participating in the #LightTheWorld initiative, which focuses on pondering different ways Jesus helped others, and committing to help people now with similar challenges. It's been a great way to bring true joy into this busy season.  

To kick off #LightTheWorld, my daughter and I put together bags to hand out to people we see around town who are homeless.  The bags contained socks, lip balm, water, granola bars, and applesauce. We didn't get all of the bags handed out the first day, so we've been handing out more as we find more people. Friday, I had the chance not only to hand out a bag, but to watch discreetly (from the rear-view mirror) as the recipient opened up the bag and discovered what was inside.  The socks were the first thing she took out.  She fingered them, seeing how thick they are, then put them up to her cheek.  She touched them again, then put them to one eye, then another.  It looked like she was wiping away tears.  Next, she took out the chapstick and applied some to her lips.  As the stop light turned green and I drove away, I saw her eating the applesauce.  I'm thankful (1) to learn what things were most appreciated from the bag, as that could help me compile future bags.  I'm also thankful (2) that the bag seemed to genuinely meet a need.  I'm also thankful (3) to witness that scene, to help me remember that although news stations seem to love to report about scams, not everyone who begs is actually financially well-off, and that it doesn't harm me to be compassionate.  (What harm is it to provide socks, lip balm, snacks and water to anyone?)

I've been on the receiving end of light this week, too.  I love this time of year, when the mailbox is filled with cards from friends and family.  I've received several cards this week, and each one brought a smile to my face.  I'm thankful (4) for those whose cards have brightened my week.  

My week has been brightened in more way than one.  We received some (much needed) rain, and as is so common here, once the sun broke out again, a rainbow appeared.  I'm thankful (5) for colorful rays of light.


Photo:  A beautiful rainbow, as viewed from my backyard.
Friday night, John and I had the chance to go down to the Los Angeles Temple. Amazingly, traffic was not bad, and we arrived earlier than we expected.  We took some of our extra time to walk around the temple grounds and take photos of the beautiful Christmas lights before going inside. 


Photo:  Lights adorn the trees, bushes, and pathways of the grounds of the Los Angeles Temple

Photo:  Various palm trees wrapped in lights

Photo:  The Los Angeles Temple, with lights on a tree and other plants in the foreground

Photo:  A life-size nativity

Photo:  A lighted palm in the foreground, a life-size nativity in the background

I'm thankful for (6) beautiful Christmas lights, (7) those individuals who donated time to put them up, (8) the calm peace that is felt inside the temple and on the temple grounds, (9) the Prince of Peace, whose birth we celebrate at this time of year. 

As always, I am also thankful (10) for John.  There is so much that needs to be done in preparation for Christmas, and it is easy to feel overwhelmed. Fortunately, John and I are overwhelmed about different things.  John helps me out by taking on more of the household chores, and I help him by taking care of purchasing the white elephant gifts for parties.  Win-win.  :-)

One more week until Christmas Day!  May your week be filled with safety, peace, joy, and love.  Thank you for your friendship--I appreciate everyone who takes the time to read and/or comment!



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8 comments:

  1. Hey Kristi! The lights at/on the Temple look amazing!! I agree...there is so much to do at this time of year...it can feel a bit draining. My brother said that he thought I sounded deflated. I think he is right. Just not as into it this year..which is weird, b/c I don't have to work Christmas...sigh..it all comes down to money. Bleh

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    1. The lights are really beautiful. I'm sorry you're feeling a bit deflated. Money issues can be stressful. I hope you can enjoy Christmas, though.

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  2. A rainbow and photos of temple grounds make for a beautiful post. That was great that you were kind of able to see without being seen the reaction of the recipient of the gift bag. They have set up quite a few warming shelters, beyond the usual during this very cold weather we have been having.

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    1. I can't imagine trying to sleep outside in winter even here--much too cold and windy.

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  3. Small kindnesses are appreciated sometimes more than larger ones. You made a difference in that woman's life, and you never know the ripple effect.

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    1. I know I remember some times when I was the recipient of small kindnesses, and I'm sure the givers don't even realize how much I needed it at the time. We just never know when we might brighten someone's day.

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  4. Look at those LIGHTS! Soooo twinklysparklybeautiful. Gorgeous pictures. I'm glad that spreading the light has been such a positive experience, and I'm glad you're making a difference :)

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    1. Participating in #LightTheWorld has reminded me again that service is a lovely spiral: the more I serve (within my capacity to do so, of course), the better I feel.

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