Sunday, September 17, 2017

Ten Things of Thankful: "The One" Edition

This week, I've been reminded of the power of "one." 

A photograph of a young woman walking with her sister, combined with a quote by Sister Anne C. Pingree: “We can alter the face of the earth … through charity.”
Photo: A young woman walks down a cobblestone street with her arm around a girl. The quote, by Anne C. Pingree, reads: "We can alter the face of the earth one family and one home at a time through charity, our small and simple acts of pure love." Source

After viewing a particularly scary house (quite obviously the dwelling of a serious hoarder), our realtor asked, "So, is this 'the one'?" No, it isn't the right house for us, but we are enjoying the search for a home to purchase. I'm thankful (1) for our realtor's patience with us, as we request to see very diverse properties, and I'm thankful (2) that both John and I realize that homes are much more than the walls that make up a house.

Yesterday afternoon, John and I had the privilege of attending an open house for a young couple who recently married. The bride had been best friends with our son when they were preschoolers. Her older sister was best friends with our oldest daughter, and her oldest sister was friends with our oldest son. We had not seen her family in 19 years. What a happy reunion! Also in attendance was another couple that we hadn't seen in those 19 years. We had such a nice time talking with them. Afterwards, I reflected back on how each one of those friends have been a blessing to us, and how I have learned from each of them, individually.

I'm thankful (3) that we could spend time with our friends, and I'm thankful (4) that despite that fact that so many years have gone by, we picked up as if no time had passed. I'm thankful (5) for the countless hours of listening and service these friends gave me 24 years ago, as I lay in a hospital bed for weeks, fighting pre-term labor. I don't think they realize what an impact they made on me and my family. One of those friends was childless at the time, and I can only imagine what it took to put aside her own feelings as she supported me in my pregnancy. The other friend was pregnant at the time (her daughter--the bride yesterday-- was born just one day after my son's early arrival), yet she found the energy and time to help me. 

After the birth of my son, those women continued to teach me through their examples. One friend helped me be more patient with myself. She is a talented painter, and once, while teaching a class I attended, said that we should rejoice when we make a mistake. Since only God is perfect, when we make an error on a piece, we can then relax, knowing we have our mistake out of the way. She stated it more eloquently, but the idea stuck with me. We all make mistakes; imperfection is to be expected; just keep trying and be happy. I'm thankful (7) for that paradigm shift. 

The other friend showed me mercy and kindness when she could have been upset, or at least frustrated. Her daughter had several broken bones as an infant and toddler; just the normal falls and bumps of childhood often resulted in a broken bone. Wearing a cast was almost the rule rather than the exception. At one point in time, right before they were to take a trip to Hawaii, my friend was so excited because her girl was all healed up and cast-free. She was looking forward to being able to have her family enjoy the water without the burden of protecting a cast. The week before they were to leave, I was watching her daughter at my house. While the kids were playing, her daughter fell and broke her arm. My friend was so gracious about it, quickly reassuring me that she was experienced and skilled in cast-protection, and it wouldn't be a hassle at all to have her daughter in a cast in Hawaii. She probably would still insist it was no big deal, but I'm thankful (8) for her genuinely kind reaction.

Last night, John and I attended the adult session of our church stake conference, and one of the speakers talked about how Jesus Christ 
served 'the one.' While he loved everyone, the scriptures abound with his example of kindness toward 'the one.' Though in a throng of people, he could notice one woman who touched the hem of his robe. He taught parables about one wandering sheep, one lost coin, or one prodigal son. I'm thankful (9) for the love of Jesus Christ, and His example of serving individuals, one by one.

I'm thankful (10) for my children and grandchildren--not just collectively, but individually--and for John, who is 'the one' for me.

What are the things you are thankful for this week? What and who are the 'ones' in your life? Leave a comment, and if you blog, feel free to write a post of your own to link up at the Ten Things of Thankful blog



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12 comments:

  1. Nice list of thankfuls. How blessed you are to have 10 childrenand grandchildren.

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    1. I should have been more clear--the numbers were counting my thankfuls. I have 5 children and 4 grandchildren.

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  2. Lovely list of thankfuls Kristi.

    As a childless woman, I do know it can be hard to see pregnancy and babies being born, but it is a miracle and totally worth sticking around for, even if it means facing some painful feelings.

    Your family sound wonderful and your love for John (the one for you) is beautiful. Really.

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    1. You have a gracious perspective. Thanks for sharing. :-)

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  3. This was a wonderful post, Kristi, not only in the many blessings you cited which made me smile, but also in the lessons shared, great food for thought.So often the best teaching comes softly from personal life experience, just like this!

    I think looking for a new home and not limiting yourself to just one style or concept would be fun, I know you will find just the right match for this stage of your lives that way, and can't wait to hear about it!

    The time you got to share with old familiar friends was precious indeed. I marveled at the impact their acts of kindness had on your life so long ago, and that your heart has not forgotten. I love the message of "one". So many people think we have to do things in big ways and thus feel inadequate for the task. Each one reach one is much more doable and has the most lasting impact. We can all reach out to someone today, with our words, our actions, and our smiles. It could make all the difference, just as it did for you so long ago!

    The wonderful thing about our children and grandchildren is their uniqueness, we love them all deeply and each one for being the special individual that they are, so different from each other. Love doesn't measure or compare.

    Your John is as blessed to have you as I know you are to have him, that's true for me and my life as well. I know there is no one you would rather be sharing this chapter of your life with. Have a wonderful week ahead. Thank you so much for joining us at TToT! XOXO

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    1. And thank you for hosting each week! You are great at commenting on everyone's posts--you efforts don't go unnoticed!

      Third time was the charm, and we are now under contract for a house that meets our needs (and lots of wants, too) that is in a location that suits us perfectly. :-)

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  4. (In my experience), when find the right house, it'll begin even before you got inside. (Phyllis came up with an idea that I use with buyers, called the drive by test. After seeing a hours that you like, drive home from work the next day to the house and see how it feels. Or, from anywhere you might otherwise normally be on an average day.)
    At times it seems such a simple thing, but when we (or our friends) are able (and inclined) to put themselves in the other person's shoes... life instantly loses so much stress that seems to accompany the inevitable mistake (large or small).

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    1. We found it, and we're under contract now! While the house itself is great, it is the location that really caught our attention: our backyard opens to the mountains, with no neighbors behind. Just a short walk uphill and we're on hiking trails that go on for miles. Looking the other direction, we can see all across the valley to Lake Utah. :-)

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  5. Hi Kristi. It's nice to reconnect again. I'm a little behind in catching up with everyone. I wish you luck in your home search. I'm sure the exact right one will come along. So nice you could reconnect with friends that you've had a deep and special history with.

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    1. Nice to see you! I've not been great about staying connected lately. The blog/"real life" balance has been tipping away from the computer, but I'm hoping that eventually I'll settle into a routine again.

      Your good wishes worked! We're under contract now for a house that we both love. :-)

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