Solar Eclipse

I eat my small Sunday breakfast with the Mormon Tabernacle Choir’s “Music and the Spoken Word” on TV. The narrator spoke about the solar eclipse we witnessed about a month ago during the day. He marveled at how so many people stopped their lives and gathered together to view this rare occurance. He also shared the reason he believes we were so astonished by this phenomenon is that we were confounded by the clockwork precision and the utter beauty our world offers. We paused for a moment to marvel at a small piece of our inspiring world and universe. (I also believe we wanted to witness a sight rare and amazing. We wanted to be part of the earth’s history.) How often (in our busy schedules) do we stop to appreciate the sky and nature? (If you do, lucky you!)

I understand some people made piles of money selling eclipse glasses. (Since the press over-reported the event, and scared us to death about the adverse effects of looking at the sun with the naked eye!) Whitney and I watched from the patch of lawn at Maceys. We were buying treats, and she didn’t want to miss it. (We had eclipse glasses, thanks to my mom and dad!) It was about 95% full where we viewed it. The sky resembled evening dusk at totality.

We don’t need special glasses to behold the awesomeness of the glorious nature-filled wonders around us. I am lucky to live near the Rocky Mountains so I can exit my door and see the majestic mountains or drive a little to the wooded forests and tranquil waters. On a clear night, we can sit in our backyard and clearly view the stars and vast sky.
During your next prayer, be sure to thank your Heavenly Father for giving you countless celestial and earthly beauties in what was once “the lone and dreary world.” (Even those dreary parts are beautiful in their own way.) Take time to notice and appreciate the natural abundance we live in!

Taken by my 14 year old daughter the other day from our home. Snow in September?

 Appreciate What You Have

You may look at my predicament and empathetically think, “Man, I’m glad that’s not me.” I would have perceived it the same way in my pre-stroke days. It’s all about your personal perspective. 

I recently had a visit from a new rehab resident. It has been six months since Barbara had her leg below the knee amputated due to diabetic complications. She was recently discharged from the hospital. I became acquainted with her when she was our Post Master about 8 years ago. (I don’t remember back that far.) But I do remember her. She was so perky and cheery. I sent stacks of mail as I was busy with eBay. We became fast friends. 

I tried not to stare. (So hard not to do.) Barbara was so incredibly happy and bright as ever. (I had a hard time keeping it together with guests for quite awhile. It’s hard to be happy when you think about how your life changed in an instant.) Her overwhelming positivity was contagious. I felt uplifted and reenergized being around her.

Wow, how can I feel bad for myself? I might not be entirely mobile, but I’m entirely whole. I have all my limbs. I look normal. (Well mostly.) I’m going to walk normally,  someday. I have been pondering this situation frequently. What I experienced might seem like a tragic hand I’ve been dealt, but there is always something worse. I guess it’s how you look at it. My self-pity train stops short when I look around and see where I could be. If we focus hard enough at our own lives, we’ll see our God-given tender mercies.

Not one person can complain about their lot in life. (Not even if you’re a teenager!) Gratitude really is an attitude!

Busy-ness – 6/16/17

My new word: Busy-ness, means a lot more than meets the eye. I spelled it like that so you would understand my inherent meaning. Filling your life with the same old: wake up, groan (since another day is here too quickly,) shower, rinse, repeat, eat breakfast (or skip it altogether,) yell at kids for not moving, work, work, work (at home or away,) lunch, work, dinner, haul kids to lessons or sports, chores, sleep. (Times that by three for mothers of toddlers!) Going through the motions, without a backward glance. Busy. ness. Without stopping to smell the roses, and whether they are roses or ranunculus (the only other R flower name I could find, I was trying to alliterate.) 

But anywho, I have learned, coming from one who is qualified to testify, slow down. Lift up your eyes from the grindstone, and look around. We tend to work so hard, we miss the really important stuff, because it’s not on the to-do list. (I used to be a member of the club!)

Make this day one of meaning. Marvel at that stunning sunset. Enjoy a green flourishing mountainside. Actually watch and enjoy your kid’s newest trick or listen to their never-ending story. Study that immaculate flower in your yard. Stop and truly savor that luscious chocolate bar. (Chocolate should be savored!) Appreciate the little things God has blessed you with. Count your blessings. (That’s all I have to say about that!)

Love is Appreciating

Love Challenge – Love is Appreciating the Small Things.

After you go many months without something, you are very aware of God’s great creations. Even the smallest thing becomes really special. I am sure that is why young kids are so amazing. Their wonderment at the most inane things helps us remember the same wonderment for ourselves. A colorful evening sunset, big fluffy snowflakes, a wonderfully scrumptious piece of chocolate, the memorable tones of your favorite song, the twitch of a once paralyzed hand (yeah I moved it) and even a caring kiss goodbye from a loved one all become special again. I also appreciate the kind service of another so very much! To think someone would go out of their way for me. Each one of us is so blessed. Try appreciating the little things. Be thankful for all you have been given. Its a lot! Your life will be better for it.

Lucky Blessing #1 – Gratitude

I just loved sharing my thoughts every day in February. I decided to challenge myself in March. If you are sick of me just scroll on. This month is all about luck. But what is luck anyway but a blessing or as some say a tender mercy of our Heavenly Father. If we fall on hard times or bad luck the Lord just has a lesson(s) for us to learn. There are blessings hidden within that trial somewhere. So I challenge you to share or list a “Lucky Blessing” each day. 
#1- Lucky Blessings Come From Gratitude. 

If there’s no gratitude, that blessing or deed goes unnoticed. I guarantee if there’s no gratitude, the giver is saddened that includes Heavenly Father. But if we are sincerely grateful, the giver is happy and will want to give us more. But that shouldn’t be your only reason to give thanks. We need to sit down and truly list all of our blessings, I know you’ll be pleasantly surprised and even humbled at how good you have it! If you can’t sleep, listing them will surely do it, like counting sheep its never ending. (That makes me think of a song, hint: Bing Crosby.) There is too much intitlement in kids today. Teach them to give thanks often, it will enrich their lives. Appreciate all the blessings you have been given in this life. “Gratitude is an Attitude” (That was an excellent talk, look it up! By Elder Uchdorf) You need to live with gratitude in your heart, make it a way of life.

Lucky Blessing #25 – Rolling Over

Lucky Blessing Challenge #25- A Lucky Blessing is Rolling Over. 

Now you might think that sounds stupid, but don’t take it for granted! Last night, my back hurt very bad. I tried to roll on my right side, but there was a pillow under my right leg and the drop foot boot so I couldn’t get over. So I called an aide, and asked her to roll me to my right side. She arranged my pillows to help me be more comfortable. But it wasn’t long before my right arm (the frozen one) was asleep because I couldn’t adjust it. Then I called her and asked for help to lay on my left side. It worked for awhile, but my right arm was not cooperating. It hung off the bed or I held it on the pillow. Then I couldn’t sleep because I was holding my arm! (Bother!) So I gave up and called to be put back on my back. (That was fun.) It made me think, as I laid there awake, I sure used to take a simple thing like rolling over in bed for granted. When you lose certain abilities you can surely miss them! (Take it from an expert.) The next time you roll over in bed, say a little prayer of gratitude for small and simple things you can do! You have been blessed to do many things that seem so commonplace. There are a lot!