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/

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Come Unto Me




A few days ago DD1 and I were able to attend the wedding of one of my nephews,   We had a bit of time between the actual wedding itself and the wedding luncheon, so we took some time to explore  (I should say wander, as I do know the area well) a bit of the downtown area near the LDS Temple where the wedding was held.   We toured a garden area that DD1 had not ever had the chance to see, and then we spent a few peaceful minutes resting and reflecting in the presence of the Christus statue.  
I have now placed a poster of this photo in a prominent place in my bedroom as a reminder of the peace that faith in our Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ, can bring

Learn of me, and listen to my words; walk in the meekness of my Spirit, and you shall have peace in me.  






Monday, October 24, 2016

Happy Birthday to Me!

Yes, it is a little bit early to be wishing myself a happy birthday, but my bright and shiny new birthday present arrived this past weekend!  Complete with a sparkly bow or two!



It took several shopping trips over the course of several months to finally get this gift to happen.  We have had two different stoves during the past twenty five years and put a lot of wear and tear on them both, switching them out several times.   Our GE oven was still going strong, but we've been down to one working burner for longer than I want to admit, and it's time.   I didn't want anything fancy, just a good dependable electric stove that hopefully will last us for another decade or two.  I no longer cook for as many since the kids are mostly gone, but I do still like to fix a good meal on occasion and would bake a lot more if the body was better able to handle the end result of that creative activity.  

At any rate, we're grateful for the new stove.   We just used the microwave on Saturday and went to Grandma's for dinner yesterday.  Now, it's time to fix dinner, but do I really want to spoil the perfectly clean, shiny newness?   

Sunday, October 9, 2016

Garden Produce

So old Jack Frost stopped by our place last week, so the beans and squash and peppers are now done for the year.   Here is our last harvest of those tender hearted vegetables, along with a bucket with about 12 lbs of grapes.



 We had a nice dinner with squash and green beans, and then turned the grapes into about 3 1/2 quarts of juice.  Hopefully tomorrow most of the juice will be made into jelly.   We still have tomatoes, carrots, potatoes and peas that survived the mild frost, so look forward to more harvest to come!

For the earth is full, and there is enough and to spare; yea, I prepared all things, and have given unto the children of men to be agents unto themselves.
D&C 104:17

And agian, verily I say unto you, all wholesome herbs God hath ordained for the constitution, nature, and use of man--Every herb in the season thereof, and every fruit in the season thereof; all these to be used with prudence and thanksgiving.
D&C 80:10,11

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Friends

Recently I was in a medical facility waiting room where a popular movie was playing on the TV screen to entertain me and the others who were waiting.   As I sat down to wait, a helicopter was being flown over a cityscape and somehow became stranded on the top of a very tall skyscraper.   A beautiful woman climbed out of the helicopter and ended up hanging on for dear life to the landing gear of the helicopter, dangling high above the city streets.  Of course who should appear, but Superman, who deftly rescued the beautiful maiden (Lois Lane, I assume) and the helicopter, delivering them both safely to a helicopter landing pad.

"But wait, who are you?" she asks as he starts to walk off into the night.

Superman turns and gives her is big signature smile, and answers,  "A friend."

Where would we be without friends?  We all need and crave friendship, whether we admit it or not. I'm not really a very social person.  I enjoy being around good people, but definitely don't feel the need to "go out and socialize"  every week. I don't often go out of my way to arrange social activities or to invite people to gather in my home, but I do appreciate my good friends and neighbors and co-workers and appreciate associating with them from time to time.  I enjoy and appreciate the times when a friend and I can just sit and talk, sharing our highs and our lows, our good times and blessings, our worries and our struggles.   Good friends have our back and know how to lift and help when we are down.

Earlier this week my DH and I had the privilege of going out to dinner with a group of old friends.  A former roommate of mine and her husband have come to the area for their youngest son's wedding this week, and since they rarely are able to visit from their current home in China, they invited a fairly large group of friends to meet together for a meal and visiting.   It has been many years since we have visited with these friends, and we didn't know everyone in the group, but it was good to renew old friendships and to get to meet  new friends.  I can honestly say that they are not only some of the "brightest minds" (as our host graciously pointed out) of our generation, but I would also add, some of the kindest and noblest hearts.   I feel privileged to know them, to have been included in the group last night, and to call them my friends.

Thinking of friends and friendships, I would have to say that my very closest friends are those who I have been blessed to have as my family.   My DH is my closest friend and confidant, my own Superman/Clark Kent.   My angel mother and my noble father are not only my greatest mentors, but they are also souls that I consider among my greatest friends.  My dear brothers and sisters were my closest friends growing up, and next to them were my cousins.  I love spending time with them all.

The children who have come to my family are now among my closest friends and confidants.  I love spending time with them, admire them immensely.  My two dear daughters-in-law are included in this bunch.   Even thought I have not known them nearly as long as I have known my own dear children, they are both wonderful women, and I could not have chosen better companions for my two dear sons. I recently saw an appropriate meme on facebook that does a pretty good job of expressing how important my friendships with my grown children are . . . but now I can't find it!  So this post will just have to exist without that colorful touch.

And who do I consider to be my very greatest friend?  My Savior, Jesus Christ.  My elder brother, the one who knows and understands me better than anyone else ever has or will. He knows my thoughts and the intents of my heart, and still loves me. He has suffered and endured every single thing that I have suffered or will ever have to face, or not face, if I will repent.   He truly knows me.   He is the one who is always there to hear my prayers, whether they are prayers of gratitude or pleadings for help and comfort.  I know he wants to be there for you too.


"Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.  Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you."
"I will call you friends, for you are my friends"
D&C 93:45


Monday, October 3, 2016

The Sun Will Always Rise

Last night was a long night.   Sometimes after a wonderful, spiritual high like I enjoyed yesterday during our General Conference, I find myself being hit by a huge wave or wall of sadness, doubt, regret, remorse, anxiety and discouragement.   Last night was probably the worst that I have ever experienced, at least for a very long time.  There are many things that are concerning to me right now.. There are many of my friends and family members that are struggling too.

I did try to go to bed early, after prayers and scriptures with the family.   Once in bed my mind would not shut off.  I could not concentrate on positive things.   I tried reading, praying again, eating, and even trying to find uplifting TV programs or movies in the middle of the night.   Usually any one of these activities will help me to relax my mind and my body and fall to sleep, but last night every single time that I finally managed to drift off, I almost immediately woke again to another difficult thought pervading my mind.

At one point I was finally able to feel the sweet, peaceful reasurrance from the spirit of the Holy Ghost that I am a beloved daughter of Heavenly Father, that he knows and loves me, and that eventually everything will work out all right.   I still was not able to go back to sleep, at least not for very long.

Eventually morning came.  The sun's rays found their way over our beautiful eastern mountains.   I was able to get up and get ready for the day.   I was able to go to work and do my job, think clearly and converse with the staff and students who needed my help and attention.    Today was a good day, and I know that more good days will come.  I have faith that many far better days will come.

I'm so very grateful for the knowledge that the Sun will always rise.


Sunday, October 2, 2016

Happiness and Joy

Am I happy?  

This is a question that I feel most of us ask ourselves almost constantly, even if we only do it subconsciously.  I know that I think about it every day, even if it is in a superficial way.  Am I physically comfortable?   Have I done something fun or enjoyable and entertaining lately?  Am I overworked or stressed about something?  Am I worried about anyone I love and care about?

I have spent the weekend drinking in the counsel and advice from a group of people who I believe are the very most qualified of any on this planet to help people like me. and all people anywhere find true happiness, true peace, and true joy.

This morning, President Thomas S Monson,  the current living prophet of God and President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints,  reminded us again of the answers to the age old questions, Where did I come from?  Why am I here?  and Where am I going? The gospel of Jesus Christ teaches us the answers to these questions and teaches us of God's plan of Salvation.   We lived with God, our Father before we were born.  We are here to gain a physical body, and to learn how to return to our Heavenly Father.  Essential to the plan is the Atonement of Jesus Christ.  Through his sacrifice and teachings we can return to live with him and with our families once again.  It is the one perfect plan to peace and happiness both here and in the world to come.

Many many more messages were shared throughout the weekend, a virtual feast of uplifting messages of hope and inspiration.  Watch or listen to LDS General Conference here.

I started this blog years ago in an effort to help me take the time to recognize and express my gratitude for the good and wonderful things in my life.  Tonight I am very grateful for living prophets and apostles.    Tonight I am also making a renewed commitment to recognize and record  the daily tender mercies that I am continually blessed with and more of the insights that have come to me while listening to inspired counsel.  Gratitude, Happiness, and Joy.

Adam fell that men might be; and men are, that they might have joy. 
2 Nephi 2:25

For behold, this is my work and my glory--to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man.
Moses 1:39