During April 2017 I will be blogging about my Courtship Memories from A to Z . These challenge posts will also be found at Creation and Compassion http://marcyhowes.blogspot.com/

Monday, November 24, 2014

The Bible

I'm grateful for the Bible, words of the Prophets, and the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Inspiration from the Holy Ghost

I'm grateful for Inspiration from the Holy Ghost.  In our Sacrament Meeting this morning, our Bishop spoke to fill in for the previously assigned speaker who became ill during the night last night.  He gave a wonderful talk at the last minute.   (I'm sure he was inspired by the Holy Ghost, and was able to draw upon many things that he has studied and learned recently and in the past).  One of the points that he mentioned was that if we could really see and understand how often the Lord helps us throughout each and every day without us even asking, we would be truly amazed.  This inspiration comes into our minds and our hearts through the means of the Holy Ghost, by the gift of the Holy Ghost that we received after we were baptized.

I know that I consciously rely on the help and inspiration of the Holy Ghost often.  When life gets overwhelming; when the to do list gets way too long for me to accomplish it all, I often find myself finding a place for a quiet prayer, even if it is just in my mind, asking for help.  If I can just take the time to listen for a bit, I almost always know the direction that I should take or which task I should tackle first.

One of the most important times that I have relied upon the inspiration of the Holy Ghost was when my DH asked me to marry him.  It is a rather long and involved story, but to make a long story short, I did have other options both of the times (yes, both) that DH proposed marriage to me.  The first time I chose to not accept, as I had made some other commitments that involved the next few years of my life.  The second time I knew that I really wanted to marry my DH, for many wonderful reasons including that the facts that I thought he was incredibly handsome and good and kind and hardworking, and  that I knew that he loved the Lord and wanted to serve him and others throughout his life.  I also knew that I needed to receive confirmation from the Lord, through the Holy Ghost, that my desire to marry my DH was a good choice.  I had studied things out in my mind for nearly two years, but I needed the confirmation that my choice was good and right.  So I fasted and prayed about my decision, and my DH did the same.  I received the strong, comforting affirmation that our decision was a good one.  I knew through inspiration from the Holy Ghost that our decision was right.

This does not mean that we have never had hard times, disagreements, or sadness in our married life.  It also does not mean that I wasn't nervous in the few months after our official engagement before we were married.  I did still have some pretty rough days and nights worrying about and second guessing my decision.  I was very glad that I had received that strong spiritual confirmation that my choice to marry my DH was a good and correct one, or I seriously may have backed out.  And that would not have been a good thing.  Nope.  Not good.  I was able to reassure myself several times that my decision was a good one, and we were able to move forward.  I had received a confirmation from the Holy Ghost.

I am very grateful for inspiration from the Holy Ghost.  And  . . . I love and appreciate my patient, faithful
DH!

But, behold, I say unto you, that you must study it out in your mind; then you must ask me if it be right, and if it is right I will cause that your bosom shall burn within you; therefore, you shall feel that it is right.  
But if it be not right you shall have no such feelings, but you shall have a stupor of thought that shall cause you to forget the thing which is wrong; therefore, you cannot write that which is sacred save it be given you from me.
     D&C  9:8,9

Verily, verily, I say unto thee, blessed art thou for what thou hast done; for thou hast inquired of me, and behold, as often as thou hast inquired thou hast received instruction of my Spirit.  If it had not been so, thou wouldst not have come to the place where thou art at this time.
Behold, thou knowest that thou hast inquired of me and I did enlighten thy mind; and now I tell thee these things that thou mayest know that thou hast been enlightened by the Spirit of truth;
Did I not speak peace to your mind concerning the matter?  What greater witness can you have than from God? 
      D&C 6:14, 15, 23

Friday, November 21, 2014

Co-Workers

I'm grateful for outstanding, wonderful co-workers.  I feel so blessed to be able to work surrounded by people who work hard, have great attitudes, and care about their work and the students they serve.  And each other.  I couldn't ask for better friends or a more supportive environment in my little department.

I'm grateful for all of the people that I have met and worked with throughout the years in my job.  I have met and come to know so many people from many cultures, backgrounds, and walks of life.  Each one has unique perspectives and talents and abilities to share.  The better that I get to know each individual, the more I grow to love and appreciate them.  It is an affirmation that overall and deep down all people have divine attributes and qualities.  Deep down, In my experience, all people have a true desire to do what is good and honorable and to help other people.  It makes my heart glad.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Temples and Temple Blessings


I'm grateful for temples, covenants, and the blessing of being sealed eternally to wonderful family members from the past, the present and the future days to come.  I love the blessing of being able to attend often.  I'm grateful to live so close to so many temples.  Whenever I enter a temple, I feel just like I'm coming home.  It's restful, it's peaceful.  My mind seems more alert and receptive to thoughts and ideas, answers to questions and problems I may be facing.  I feel more in tune to the Lord's spirit and to what He wants me to be doing.  I feel loved.  I go as often as I can to get my regular dose of love and courage and inspiration.

I also love going to the temple because of the people who are there.  I am so grateful to the many volunteers who give up of their time each week to work in the temple.  Almost every time I visit I see a friend or neighbor who volunteers at the temple.  Every time I go I feel such a strong love and connection to the other sisters and brothers who are there.  I know they are all my brothers and sisters.  Every time I go, I also feel the presence of so many of my dear brothers and sisters who have already departed from my life.  I know they are there to receive their own blessings and endowments and sealings, and to love and support all of us from the other side of the veil.  They are our guardian angels, many are our own ancestors and family members.  There is no where else on this earth where the veil is so thin.  I love, love, love the Temples!

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Joseph Smith and The Book of Mormon

I'm grateful for the prophet Joseph Smith and for The Book of Mormon, Another Testament of Jesus Christ.

It is nearly impossible to explain how important Joseph Smith has been to this world. The best way would be to read his testimony, which you can find online by clicking on his name in the opening sentence to this blog post.  I read the post of another of my favorite bloggers (Joycelyn) not too long ago  who suggested that one way to solidify your testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith is to record yourself reading aloud his personal testimony.  As a full time missionary over 30 years ago, I had the privilege of reciting from memory, in Spanish, portions of Joseph Smith's testimony every time I taught investigators the first discussion.  I can still recite parts from memory in Spanish, even though I have rarely done so since.

I know that Joseph Smith was visited by God, our Heavenly Father and his Son, Jesus Christ.  I know that he was given the direction and the power and authority to restore the Church of Jesus Christ to the earth.  I know that Joseph Smith was given the responsibility to translate and publish the sacred ancient record that we know as The Book of Mormon.

This week I was reading in another one of my ( one of many) favorite chapters from the Book of Mormon:
2 Nephi  32.  If you haven't read it lately, I challenge you to pull out your Book of Mormon and read it, or else click right over here (2 Nephi 32) and read it online.  It will be well worth your time.

2 Wherefore, I said unto you, feast upon the words of Christ; for behold, the words of Christ will tell you all things what ye should do.

And now, my beloved brethren, I perceive that ye ponder still in your hearts; and it grieveth me that I must speak concerning this thing. For if ye would hearken unto the Spirit which teacheth a man to pray, ye would know that ye must pray; for the evil spiritteacheth not a man to pray, but teacheth him that he must not pray.
 But behold, I say unto you that ye must pray always, and not faint; that ye must not perform any thing unto the Lord save in the first place ye shall pray unto the Father in the name of Christ, that he will consecrate thy performance unto thee, that thy performance may be for the welfare of thy soul.
2 Nephi 32:3, 8, 9

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Clementines and Orange Juice

I'm grateful for Clementines and Orange Juice.  I grew up with a mother who strongly believes  in a dose of orange juice every single day.  And I have been blessed to be able to continue with that tradition almost every single day of my life.  I don't drink a full cupful every day, mind you.  That can be a bit too much sugar, and too much expense if you have a large family.  But, a little quarter to half cup of orange juice every single day in my humble opinion does a much better job of keeping the doctor away than an apple a day.  (Not that I have anything against apples, but I do prefer oranges and bananas to apples most of the time.)

Now clementines, you know, those tasty little morsels of oranges that have become very popular in the past decade or so . . . I'm very grateful for clementines too.  They're just the right size for a bit of tangy sweetness after lunch or dinner, fit nicely in a purse or a lunch bag, are highly portable, and this time of year they are abundant and affordable at the local grocery store.  Yep, I'm grateful for clementines!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Thrift Stores and Hand-Me-Downs

I'm grateful for Thrift Stores and Hand-me-Downs.  I love being able to find great quality clothing for small prices.  We have several great thrift stores in the area, and even though sometimes it takes some time, I can almost always find something that will work for me.  The thrift stores are also a wonderful source for books, sometimes games and movies, toys, and even kitchen supplies and linens.

Our family has also been blessed through the years with hand me downs and hand me ups.  Recently my younger, taller, (and thinner) sister has blessed me and my girls with some of her excess clothing.  Not all of it works for us, but what doesn't we can pass along to someone else.

Some years ago a friend shared her testimony with me of how blessed her family had been for being faithful in paying tithing and providing service in the church.  They were by no means wealthy, but had always had sufficient clothing for their large growing family, and usually only needed to purchase shoes and socks and underclothing firsthand.  We haven't always been quite that fortunate, but we have received many wonderful articles of clothing for our family from other friends and family members throughout the years.   I know that sometimes children may have negative experiences as a result of hand-me-downs, but as far as I know, my own children have never experienced any seriously negative feedback from their clothing blessings.




Sunday, November 16, 2014

Scriptures, Hymns, and Living Prophets

What would our world be like without scriptures, hymns and Living Prophets?  I shudder at the thought.  I have been blessed to have all of these be a part of my daily life since I was a child, especially on Sundays, but readily available to enjoy whatever day of the week.   The question is, am I taking advantage of what I have been blessed with?

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Central Heating

I am so very very grateful for central heating.  The blessing of being able to turn up the heat with the touch of a button and enjoy the warmth of the air blowing upon my cold feet and working to dispel the draftiness of the house and the car, and even sometimes the workplace!   (It's usually not terribly cold there either.)

I'm grateful for Central Heating!  and hot and cold running water, and electricity!

Friday, November 14, 2014

Shoes

I'm grateful for shoes.  I'm grateful for new shoes, and old shoes.  I'm grateful for comfortable shoes.  I'm also grateful for warm stockings, for warm coats and sweaters and blankets.  Especially now that the weather has turned colder.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Chocolate

So I have been hearing rumors of chocolate shortages caused by drought, disease, and an increased world-wide demand for chocolate.  We have been seeing prices for chocolate soar, and truth be told, I have had to ration myself a bit lately.  But, I do still manage to find at least a little bit most days.  I've blogged previously about chocolate.  I know there are some who avoid it, and I probably tend to make a bit bigger deal of it than I really need to.  I really could live without it if I needed to, but so far I have been blessed to have a life often blessed by chocolate.  And I am grateful.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Letters From My Mother

I'm grateful for handwritten letters from my sweet Mother.  She has been a faithful letter writer all of her life, to her own parents, siblings, and to us children.  As the years have progressed, the volume of letters leaving her pen has slowed, but today I received a wonderful handwritten note from her.  I treasure the love that she sends!


Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Veterans


I'm grateful to this wonderful man who served our country during World War I.  I'm also grateful to all who have served and who are currently serving.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Board Games

I'm grateful for Board Games.  Growing up I was blessed with parents, grandparents and siblings who enjoyed playing a good board game on a leisure summer day or winter evening.  It started with Uncle Wiggly and Candy Land, then Sorry, and then Monopoly.  Later there were many games of Clue and Risk.  These days our family tends to prefer Trivial Pursuit and Scrabble, or strategy games like Empire Builder, Settlers of Zarahemla (we don't own Catan) or most recently, Shadows over Camelot.

DH played many a strategy game in his youth and young adult years, but unfortunately I'm not quite the gamer that he is, and so he has had to wait for his children to become adults to have a family full of competitors.  And, also unfortunately, most of the children are now scattered.  Fortunately, they do sometimes return home, and occasionally we can be persuaded to have a family game night or too.  And, even though I have at times in years past loathed the game times as I was almost always the last man out or the loser, I do enjoy an evening or two or a day or two filled with family game time.  We are indeed blessed.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Primary

I'm grateful for Primary, our church's organization for children.   I have spent more than half of my life attending primary each week, first as a child on Tuesday afternoons after school, and for many years since as a teacher or leader.  I love teaching children.  They love back so unconditionally.  I love the primary lessons and the primary songs.  I love and appreciate all of the wonderful teachers and leaders who have shared their testimonies, time, talents, and love with my own children over the years.  I love the wonderful teachers and leaders that I am now blessed to visit and associate with and learn from in my current stake primary calling.  I love that the Lord has prepared such a wonderful organization to assist parents and families in teaching our children and preparing them for the challenges of life in the years to come.  I'm grateful for the wonderful songs that help us all to learn and remember simple gospel principles and ingrain them into our souls.

Today I was blessed to be able to attend the last Primary Sacrament Meeting Program in our stake for this year.  The theme has been Families Are Forever, and we have learned this wonderful new song:

The Family Is of God
Words and Music by  Matthew Neeley

Our Father has a family, It's me!  It's you, all others too:  we are His children. 
He sent each one of us to earth, through birth, To live and learn here in families.

God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be--
This is how he shares his love, for the family is of God.

A father's place is to preside, provide, To love and teach the gospel to his children.
A father leads in family prayer to share Their love for Father in Heaven.

God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be--
This is how he shares his love, for the family is of God.

A mother's purpose is to care, prepare, To nurture and to strengthen all her children.  
She teaches children to obey, to pray, To love, and serve int he family.

God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be--
This is how he shares his love, for the family is of God.

I'll love and serve my family and be A good example to each family member. 
And when I am a mom or dad, so glad, I'll help my family remember:

God gave us families to help us become what he wants us to be--
This is how he shares his love, for the family is of God.



Saturday, November 8, 2014

Bananas

I'm grateful for bananas.  Plantain.  Plantanos.  Guenos.  Patacones. Whatever you want to call them.  However you want to prepare or present them.

Bananas were a staple in our house when I was growing up.  I didn't always appreciate them; sometimes they were too green and a bit bitter and other times too ripe and sticky, but there was almost always a nice banana available for an after school snack or to add to a jello salad or slice over ice cream, or even to make cookies or banana bread with.

About 30 some odd years ago some of you may be aware that I spent almost a year and a half in Colombia, where the food was sometimes not quite what I was accustomed to.  Fresh milk was not available, and to someone raised on a dairy farm, this was quite the adjustment.  But, almost every single day I had access to bananas!  Bananas were a very familiar food and quickly became one small comfort in a land and culture far from home.

Since returning to the states, I have almost always had fresh bananas available in my kitchen.  They don't grow in our area, but the travel well and they store well.  Yes, sometimes they are a bit green and bitter and sometimes they get way to ripe and end up in banana bread.  And sometimes they even end up fried or baked, green or sweet.  I am to this day grateful for bananas.

Friday, November 7, 2014

Employment

I'm grateful for employment and for payday.   Today was a rather long day at work.  Remodeling has begun on the restrooms on our floor, and for most of the day we worked with the background "music" of saws and/or jackhammers working to take out the old tiles and fixtures.  It promises to be a long few months ahead.  Thank goodness for breaks, tylenol, and chocolate.  We have some difficult projects coming up in the next few weeks and months.   Today was pay day, and so this evening has been spent paying bills and figuring out the budget for the week.  In spite of it all, I am grateful for employment, and for pay day! 

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Dates With My Honey and Favorite Movies

I'm grateful for dates with my honey.  Tonight we were able to go and see one of my favorite movies and then stop for cheeseburgers and french fries.  It is always my very favorite date.  

Do you have a favorite movie that you have watched over and over again so many times that you practically have it memorized?  If you ask me what my favorite movie is, I will usually answer that it is The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews.  It first came out when I was just a little girl, about the same age as Gretel in the movie.  I was enthralled by the story, and have always loved the songs.  We now own the movie, and I have watched it many times, and I still enjoy it.  

When the children were young, there were several videos that were played over and over again at our house until we all knew them practically word for word:  The Little Mermaid,  Walt Disney's Silly Symphonies, Robin Hood,  and 1001 Dalamations, to name a few.  Various different versions of Pride and Prejudice are also popular at our house, and much of the dialogue can be recited from memory by various family members.

My very favorite movie can't be seen in a movie theater, and it isn't available on DVD, but right now there are several versions of available  that I can watch almost any time of the day or evening and most days of the week.  This movies is shown at several different locations within a 30 minute drive of our house, and in many other locations all over the world.  It has been interesting during the past few months to watch and compare the different new versions of my favorite movie.  The Dialogue is the same.  I have heard it many times, and could recite much if not all of it from memory, but the different settings and different interpretations of the actors and the directors bring to mind things I haven't considered before.  But most of all I love to have the regular reminder of what is most important in life, and the peace and comfort that I feel.  Yup, no matter how many times I go, It's still my favorite date.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Bananas

Today I am grateful for bananas.  Easily affordable, portable, nutritious, and delicious.  Great alone or with many other foods such as cheerios, milk, ice cream, peanut butter, strawberries, chocolate .   . . . .  raw or fried or baked.

Yup.  I'm grateful for bananas.  

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vacuum Cleaners and DH

I'm grateful for vacuum cleaners and a wonderful husband that knows how to fix them!   And sometimes he even uses them!  

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunshine

I'm grateful for light and sunshine, and an earlier sunrise!

Saturday, November 1, 2014

Family

Today I am very grateful for my outstandingly awesome family . . . my husband, my children, my daughter-in-law and my new little grandson, my parents and in-laws, my siblings and their families, my aunts and uncles and cousins and their families . . . . I have been very truly blessed!