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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Saturday, November 26, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Thanksgiving Edition

Thanksgiving Day has come and gone, but the gratitude lingers.  I still have a houseful of visiting relatives, so I will make this list quick (but heartfelt).

1.  I'm thankful for the safe travels of everyone.

2.  I'm thankful for my children and their significant others, and for the fact that those who couldn't travel home could travel to my brother's house and enjoy Thanksgiving dinner surrounded by relatives.

3.  I'm thankful for good news that shall remain unspecified until further notice.

4.  (To continue with the vague, but still grateful vein) I'm thankful that those who visited the ER on Thanksgiving morning were still able to return to my house in time for a warm dinner.

5.  I'm thankful for my grandchildren.


Photo:  My grandson sleeps on his uncle, my oldest son

6.  I'm thankful for both my side of the family, and John's side of the family.  We all get along nicely, and everyone makes themselves at home and pitches in to help.  Easy house guests!  :-)

7.  I'm thankful for games.  After the meal is over, out come the board games. 


Photo:  Close up of Settlers of Catan board.  Surprisingly, the brown settlement turned out to be placed well.  The first three rolls of the game were 12, 2, and 3!
8.  I'm thankful for Drexel, who is a friendly, but not overbearing host.

9.  I'm thankful for a serendipitous find.  I was looking for a china cabinet in which to store my great-grandma's china.  I found an ad on craigslist, bought the piece without measuring either the cabinet nor the spot I wanted to put it.  We did have to remove a baseboard to put it in position, but what a fit!


Photo:  Old china cabinet fits snugly between the wall and the fireplace
10.  I'm thankful for John.  Things can get a little hectic during this time of year, but we are a great team.  House got cleaned, meal got cooked, and sanity is still intact.  :-)

Happy Thanksgiving to you!  How has your week gone?




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Ten Things of Thankful


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Friday, November 25, 2016

Trading Black Friday for #LightTheWorld

The best release today was not special sales pricing, but rather, this new video:



I'm excited to participate in #LightTheWorld--essentially a service advent calendar.  On December 1st (Jesus Lifted Others' Burdens and So Can You), I'm planning on joining in the worldwide day of service by handing out bags with socks and snacks to the homeless in our community.  Then, on the days leading up to Christmas, I will do other things that relate to the theme of the day.  Maybe I will do one of the listed suggestions; maybe I will come up with my own idea.  

Won't you join me in this #LightTheWorld initiative? I know I always feel good when I do something that helps others.  I'm looking forward to experiencing the joy of service this Christmas season--and that's a better feeling than snatching up any Black Friday bargain!

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Thanks for light.

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Thursday, November 24, 2016

#ThankfulActs Challenge: Prayer of Thanksgiving


Happy Thanksgiving!  The final #ThankfulActs Challenge this year is to offer a prayer of thanks.




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Thanks to the source of all our blessings.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2016

#ThankfulActs Challenge: Drive Kindly

We're approaching a big travel weekend.  Many people will be driving and/or flying in the modern-day equivalent of "over the river and through the woods" on their way to Grandma's house. 

Photo:  A couple travels by horse-drawn sleigh through the snow

How fortunate we are to be able to travel so far, so quickly, but how easily we can take transportation for granted.  We can become frustrated with heavy traffic, delays, and mistakes of other drivers. Today's #ThankfulActs challenge is to be kind to other travelers. Whether you are traveling to another state, or just driving around your own neighborhood, be kind.  Let someone in as he is trying to change lanes.  Smile at the parents of that crying baby on the plane. Refrain from honking in anger at the crazy driver.  (Of course, honk if honking will help avoid an accident--just keep the anger out of it.)

How will you participate in today's challenge?

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Thanks for transportation.

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Monday, November 21, 2016

#ThankfulActs Challenge: Thank Someone for Sharing

Before you skip this post, please hear me out.  I was thinking about the young men and women from my church who choose to serve missions.  I don't know how missionary service works in other churches, but Mormon missionaries dedicate 1-1/2 to 2 years, at their own expense, to go wherever they are assigned, to talk to people about religion.  They are generally in their late teens to mid-twenties.  Communication with their families consists of weekly emails or letters, and twice-yearly phone calls (on Christmas and Mother's Day). Regardless of whether or not you agree with them, I think their dedication to their beliefs is deserving of thanks.  So, if you see a couple of young men or women wearing nametags and knocking on doors in your area, take time to thank them for their service.  Or, you could express your thanks online.


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Thanks for individuals devoted to their beliefs.

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Sunday, November 20, 2016

Ten Things of Thankful: Fall has Arrived

I think I've probably declared, "Fall has arrived!" more than once this year, but this time I really mean it.  The calendar says so, some of the leaves are starting to fall, we're well into the fall holiday season, the swamp cooler has been wrapped up for the year, and (here's what prompted the statement this week) the daytime high temperatures have dropped from the 80s into the 60s (overnight on Tuesday night) and have stayed there.  Of course, this is California, so finding ripe strawberries in my garden in November is just part of fall, right?


Photo:  A ripe strawberry in my November garden

Not only has fall arrived, but Thanksgiving Day is in less than one week!  I'll warm up for that day by listing ten things I'm thankful for:

Friday, November 18, 2016

#ThankfulActs Challenge: Send a Thanksgiving Card

Thanksgiving is next week, and my blogging about #ThankfulActs will soon be replaced with blogging about #LightTheWorld.  I definitely think that preparing a thankful heart, and acting upon that thankfulness, segues nicely into daily acts of service in December.  

Today's challenge is to take the time to send a card of Thanksgiving to someone (or more than one someone!)  Unfortunately, we can't always be in the physical presence of friends and family, but a card in the mailbox can let them know we are thinking of them.  

I need to buy some postage stamps, but I'll be mailing out some cards as soon as they are stamped.

Photo:  A vintage Thanksgiving card, with two children moving a huge pumpkin, with the caption, "Best wishes for a good Thanksgiving."



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Thanks for Thanksgiving.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

Six Sentence Story: Light

When Ivy posted the Six Sentence Story prompt for the week, I had a light bulb moment.  (See what I did there?) Anyway, I've been excited about the month of December for some time now, and this prompt provided me the perfect opportunity to share a little bit about why I am excited.  This week's prompt?  LIGHT

Jesus taught, "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven." (Matt. 5:16) He showed compassion, mercy, and love to others, "went about doing good," (Acts 10:38) and encouraged us to do the same. (Matt. 25:40) The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, to celebrate the upcoming Christmas season, is launching a #LightTheWorld campaign.  The church is inviting everyone to join in a worldwide day of service on December 1st, to serve anyone we want, anyway we want.  Each day in December leading up to Christmas will then focus on a particular attribute of Christ, and encourage us to follow in His footsteps through service.  I'm excited for this reminder to keep service a daily priority; will you join me in participating?


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Thanks for light.

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Wednesday, November 16, 2016

#ThankfulActsChallenge: Thank a Neighbor

How well do we know our neighbors?  Who are our neighbors?  




Today's challenge is to thank a neighbor:  acknowledge them, wave and say hi, stop to chat for a minute, offer to help, etc. And, remember, as we learned from the parable, a neighbor doesn't have to just be someone who lives next door.  

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Thanks for neighbors, near and far.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2016

#ThankfulActs Challenge: Share or Preserve a Family Recipe


It's hard to think of Thanksgiving without thinking of food.  So many memories are tied up in the Thanksgiving meal, and recipes tend to get passed down from generation to generation.  Certain foods "belong" to certain relatives, and even when those men and women are gone, the food brings back the memories of them.  

Today's #ThankfulActs challenge is to share or somehow preserve a family recipe.  I'll share my mom's Pumpkin Squares recipe with you.  You could compile a family cookbook, or could preserve family recipes on FamilySearch.  Whatever you decide to do, have fun!

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Thanks for yummy food and the people who make it!

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Monday, November 14, 2016

#ThankfulActs: For the Beauty of the Earth

Did you see the supermoon this morning?  Are the leaves changing colors in your neighborhood?  Are snowflakes gently falling?  Are there fluffy white clouds in the sky?  Are raindrops watering the earth?

There is beauty all around us.  Today's challenge is to take a moment to appreciate nature.  Maybe you will rake some leaves (bonus points for raking your neighbor's leaves!), or maybe you will take a photo of the big moon, or maybe you will simply say a prayer of thanks or observe and breathe.  Whatever it is, take a moment to be thankful for this lovely planet we call home.

What will you do?



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Thanks for this beautiful world. 

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