Saturday, October 30, 2010

Day 21 - Christmas Music

I had to go in to work tonight to take care of a few things. While I was sitting in my office I put in the new Christmas CD by Steven Sharp Nelson. It's fantastic!!!

I know today is only Halloween and we still have 8 more weeks left until Christmas, but I love Christmas music. I could listen to it all year long.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Day Twenty - Rough Road Ahead

I was driving home from Salt Lake tonight and passed a sign like this one several times. I started wondering if we do things differently as drivers when we know we are coming upon rough roads. Some seem to be overly cautious while others don't seem to care at all. What do I do?

In this last general conference, it was mentioned in a couple of talks that the rough times are not over. So what am I doing to be prepared for the rough road ahead?

I've spent the last few weeks reading through conference. Each talk has something in it that I should be doing to be better prepared. Elder Scott made this observation, "As the teachings of the Savior are constantly obeyed, life will be beautiful, the future secure, and there will be capacity to overcome the challenges that cross our path."

Following that counsel, making necessary course corrections, and seeking the help of heaven will ensure that I am ready for whatever rough road is up ahead. For that, I am thankful.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Day Nineteen -Tired

You know that feeling at the end of the day when you are totally and completely exhausted because you worked hard, got things done, crossed things off your to-do list, and even managed to get in a few extra things? Well, that's what I'm thankful for today. That feeling.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Day Eighteen - My Job

Today I'm thankful for my job. Really thankful.

Six years ago I was working for a different company. I was working 6 days a week, seven that last year at Christmas time, and I was easily putting in 14 or 15 hours a day. I did almost nothing except work.

I had been at this job for 9 years. When they announced that they would be open on Sunday, I knew that I couldn't stay. Fortunately, the next day a flier was given to me about a new job.

I was reading in my journal the other night about my experiences while applying and interviewing for this job. Everything fell into place and I knew that taking that job was the right thing - an absolutely necessary thing.

In this job I have worked with some absolutely incredible people who have influenced my life in ways that are hard to describe. They have seen me at my best and my worst. We have laughed and cried. We've played and worked our tails off. We've bagged a million rolls and sold countless books. We've put out fires and been robbed at gunpoint. We've gone sailing at Tahoe, repelling at Red Fish, and climbed to the top of Angel's Landing.

This job has given me the necessary time to finally finish school, something I've always regretted not doing. February 21st will be my last final!!! It's given me the resources (people, not just books) to be better in my church callings. I've taken necessary vacations to help family members, something that would not have happened with my last job. So many things in my life are better as a result of this job.

Realizing these things has caused me to feel some remorse because of the attitude I've had about my job sometimes. I feel bad for times when my attitude has caused others to not feel appreciated or a valuable part of my team and for that, I am sorry.

At the same time, realizing these things has been yet another reminder of how there is One who is in charge. He knows exactly what we need, even when we don't. He knew how badly I needed to make changes in my life and He knew that this job would provide me with opportunities to make those changes.

So, thank you to all of you who suffered through my worst and put up with me. Thanks to you who made me laugh - who still make me laugh. You have each blessed my life and continue to do so, just like this job.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Day Seventeen - The Temple

This morning I got up early to attend the temple. It's my favorite time to be there. The session seems to be about the perfect size and the sunlight coming through the windows in the celestial room in the morning is one of the most amazing things I've seen. Plus, there's not a better way to start a day.

I was thinking this morning about the blessings that frequent temple attendance has brought into my life. Some crazy things have happened in the last 6 months and I'm sure more crazy things are headed my way. The temple has been my place of peace, my place of comfort, and my place for answers. It is there that I am reminded what is truly important.

So tonight I'm thankful for the temple.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Day Sixteen - Electricity

This may seem like a silly thing to be thankful for. Of course I'm grateful for electricity. But here's why, today, I am thankful for it.

I didn't sleep last night. Not one bit. So at 2 am I decided I should just get up and work on my final paper that was due today. The wind was blowing like crazy and at 2:07 there was a very loud blast outside my house. It scared me to death and the power went out. I stayed in bed until 4, hoping the power would come back on, then got up and went into work.

Last night before bed I read President Monson's talk from this last conference. He told a story about a family who had used their savings to have electricity set up in their house. That year all of their crops died. For Thanksgiving dinner they had a rabbit and some turnips. No one was feeling very thankful. The dad turned off the lights and lit an oil lamp. The family was shocked that they were ever able to read by such a dim light. Suddenly they were filled with gratitude for what they had.

I do that. I don't realize just how blessed I am. Sometimes it takes turning off the lights for me to wake up. Sometimes it takes looking back at where I've been to realize just how far I've come.

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Day Fifteen - My Mission

Yesterday, while cleaning out my spare room, I found the box with all my mission stuff in it. I spent a very long time going through all of it, and, before going to bed last night, I read through my journal.

I absolutely loved my mission! I served with great companions and fantastic elders. We worked hard and, when appropriate, played hard as well. It was so long ago that we didn't have email, most of the places I lived in didn't even have telephones, and I think I saw one home with a computer in it my whole mission.

I survived all sorts of crazy insect invasions as well as some strange allergies and parasites. I knocked (or yelled at) a billion doors, taught hundreds of discussions, fell off my bike, got mugged - twice, learned Spanish, and watched several people enter into the waters of baptism. All of those things were an important part of me growing up.

But, more importantly, during that time I realized that we never walk alone. I developed a significant testimony of our Savior, Jesus Christ and gained a love for Him that, to that point, I hadn't imagined possible. I saw prayers answered, both my own as well as the prayers of others. I experienced the cleansing power of the Atonement as I sought forgiveness. I gained the love and understanding of the scriptures that Seminary prepared me for.

I grew up. I realized that I was capable of so much more than I ever thought I was. My mission was indeed preparation for other events that would take place later in my life.

I am so thankful that I got to be a missionary!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Day Fourteen - Feeling Better

Today I'm thankful to be feeling better. I seriously spent all of Thursday and Friday in my bed - practically every second. So, this morning, while I was still not feeling all that great, I got out of bed and set out to finish the last room I had to clean and organize.

It took a long time. There were boxes in that room that hadn't ever been unpacked in the two years I've been in this house. I fell down the stairs to the cellar with my arms full of boxes (glad that none of the neighbors saw that), but it was so good to be out of bed.

Also, when I went to the store, I noticed the beautiful roses blooming in front of my bedroom window. I should have taken a picture because I'm sure they will freeze tonight. I'm thankful for beautiful things.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Day Thirteen - Granola Bars

A couple of weeks ago while I was in Bountiful at Dre's house, she had me try the homemade granola bars that she made. They were delicious!

We spent a lot of time trying to figure out the nutritional content and then thought of ways we could make them have less fat and calories but still taste good. So, a couple of days ago, before I got sick, I made a batch.

The link for the recipe is below. I used non fat sweetened and condensed milk and pressed them on to parchment paper on a very large cookie sheet, making 36 bars. I must say, they are totally delicious, and have made for some nice treats while I've been home sick.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Day Twelve - Sick Days

Today I spent the day in bed - the entire day - because I'm not feeling very well. So today I'm thankful for a mostly comfortable bed, netfilx, hulu, Emily - who covered my shift at work tonight, chicken noodle soup (the only thing missing was someone to make it for me), and cold medicine.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Day Eleven - Kleenex

About half way through the day I started to get a sore throat. By the time I left work, even my eyeballs hurt. It seems like every time I get back on track with any sort of physical fitness activity, I come down with something.

So now, at 10 pm, I am very thankful for soft Kleenex and I'm thankful that I don't have to wake up to an alarm tomorrow.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Day Ten -

I was just reading Sister Wixom's talk from the recent General Conference. She was talking about staying on the right path and leading our children back Home. She made this comment, speaking to children, "Take my hand. Hold on tight. We will stay on the path together back to our Heavenly Father."

When I read that, I was reminded of a conversation I had with someone earlier this year. We were talking about what we wanted out of life, the things we expected, and how we were going to get there. I made the comment that I just wanted someone to take my hand and walk with me and our children on the path back Home to our Father in Heaven. I was sure that along the way there would be course corrections we would have to make, but we would make them together and eventually make it back, together.

So tonight, I am thankful for the hope that at some point in my life, someone will say to me, "Take my hand. Hold on tight. We will stay on the path together back to our Heavenly Father."

Monday, October 18, 2010

Day Nine - One More Week

Today I am thankful that I only have one more week left in my literature class.

I love to read. There have been many days in my life where I have done nothing but read. In fact, on a rainy day, I would love to stay home, listen to rain, sip hot chocolate, and read a good book while still in my pj's. But, this class, with it's 2500 page textbook, is killing me!

So tonight, after 4 hours of homework, I am thankful that each class is only 5 weeks long and that I just have one more of this one.

I have three classes to go: philosophy, physical science, and math. So, on February 21st, I will take my last final and for that I am incredibly thankful!

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Day Eight - Family

This picture of my family was taken in May of this year. It was the first time we had all been together in almost 8 years.

It's hard for me to describe how thankful I am for my family. Being the oldest, and the bossiest as some will remind me, it's been such a blessing watching everyone grow up. Most are raising families of their own, while all of us are working hard to figure out life, making sure we are on the right track, and helping each other when there is need for help.

Change is constant in our family. There will be more little members joining our family in the next little while, hopefully those who live far away will be moving back home, but that also might take Joe even farther away than he is now. I can't wait till we're all back together again. There is a strength in knowing your family is around you, even if you don't see them often.

(Oh, if your wondering where Josh is, he's there. Just look for the guy with the hoodie over his head.)

Saturday, October 16, 2010

Day Seven - A Clean House

Today I'm thankful for a clean house. I love a clean house! I love falling asleep knowing the house is clean and I love waking up in the morning and remembering that it's clean. It doesn't have to be perfect, but it's nice when things are put a way.

Well, today, I spent the whole day cleaning. I folded laundry that hadn't been folded in I don't know how long, I cleaned out cupboards, reorganized books and music, cleaned out a couple of closets, dusted, washed dishes (just like the pioneers), changed the sheets on the bed, vacuumed, and scrubbed. And at this very moment, every article of clothing I have is clean and put away. I still have one room to clean, really clean, but that will have to wait for another day.

I've noticed that the level of cleanliness in my home directly correlates to my emotional state of mind. I've also noticed that when I keep my house clean, in spite of my emotional state, I feel much better about life.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Day Six - Peace

You know that feeling of peace you get when you're right in the middle of something big, hard, challenging, or whatever else it might be? Well, that's what I'm thankful for today.

I find it fascinating that in the midst of affliction, we can feel okay about things. We can feel the love of the Savior. And even when we don't know what the outcome will be, we know we will be alright, whatever happens.

What a blessing!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Day Five - One Crazy Day

This will be short. I'm totally exhausted today. The house is a mess. In fact the groceries I bought this morning are still in bags on the kitchen floor, except for the stuff that needed to go into the refrigerator, of course.

Today I went to the temple, had a picnic and a fun hike with Jaime and the kids - even some extra kids, went grocery shopping, brought a couple of kids home with me for a sleep over, hung up some new curtains (even ironed them first), started the dishes (yes, they are still in water in the sink), had baths, put on a movie for the kids while I attempted some homework, gave up on the homework, played with the kids instead, popped popcorn, and now I've been told that it's bed time. Once the kids go to sleep, I have until midnight to read 150 pages and write two essays. It just might not happen tonight.

But, I'm thankful that the mess in my house was created by someone other than myself and that I'm ready for bed, not just because it's time, but because it's been such a busy day.

My time off of work ends on Sunday and at some point I have to get caught up. But today, I'm thankful for the chaos.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Day Four - Laughter

I was in Bountiful the other night with Sean, Dre, and Haden. We walked outside about 7:30, just when it was starting to get dark. Apparently, Haden doesn't see the dark very often. He kept saying, "Oh My Cow!" over and over again because he couldn't believe how dark it was getting. Dre and I were laughing so hard, I think I had tears running down my cheeks.

She called me the next day at work to tell me of another "Oh My Cow" experience, prompting more laughter. When I told the guys at work, one of them suggested we start giving an "Oh My Cow" award. He said it could only be for the guys because the girls would not be happy to get that kind of award. He's probably right.

So, on day four, I'm thankful to be able to laugh. I don't do it nearly enough, especially lately, which is something I need to fix. I'm working on it!

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Day Three - Isaac

Today, there are many things that I could share for which I am thankful. But, narrowing it down to only one thing, I'm thankful for my nephew, Isaac.

We spent some time together today, putting together some bookcases. If you've never put anything together with the help of a three year old, you should. Especially a three year old who tells you what a great job you're doing and how shocked he is when it actually looks like a bookcase when you're finished.

The first one, with his help, took an hour. The second, all on my own took about 17 minutes. He was great at hammering things in and told me that because he was so much stronger, he should screw in the screws.

He couldn't wait to put the books in, and as soon as we did, and after we moved a rocking chair into that room, we had to have story time. There are few things that I enjoy as much a having a child on my lap, reading a story.

Isaac told me the other day that I was his "best Christy". He's my best Isaac, too.

(By the way, that picture was taken last summer. We were hiking up to the "Y". I don't think there's any way he could ride on my back like that now.)

Monday, October 11, 2010

Day Two - Long Walks

Today I went for a walk up Provo Canyon. I love that walk!

I was thinking back a couple of years when I decided that specific things in my life needed to change and I started walking at night. I would walk really late, after it was dark, so that no one could see me. This was not the smartest choice, but I was embarrassed.

Those walks strengthened me physically, but also emotionally. For more than an hour every day, I had time with just me. During those walks I took specific inventory of my life. I realized several things about my life that needed to be changed. Somehow on those walks I found the courage to begin to make those changes.

So, two years later, I still love to walk. While I am and probably always will be an emotional eater, I know the choices I need to make to be healthy. Now, I can do that walk that used to take me an hour and twenty minutes in about 45. While this year has not been my finest as far as a consistent exercise pattern, hopefully I'm back on track.

Today, on day two, I'm thankful for long walks and I thankful that those walks continue to help me be better.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Live In Thanksgiving Daily

Because of an incredible desire to feel better about life, I have spent much time the last couple of months reading conference talks. There have been many things that I've learned as I've taken copious notes. One of those things is that I need to be more thankful.

In Alma 34:38 we are reminded that we need to "live in thanksgiving daily". I stink at this. I spend too much time living in the past or worrying about the future. I complain too often and don't take time to realize how very blessed I am.

So, in an effort to attempt to "live in thanksgiving daily", I will post, each day, about something for which I am thankful.

Today, I am thankful for the opportunity to teach Gospel Doctrine in my ward. When I first got this calling, I was scared to death. Fortunately, it was during a Book of Mormon year, followed by a Church History year. While I was nervous beyond explanation, I had great friends who helped with incite and gave recommendations for resources. Fortunately, my job provided me with an outlet to obtain those resources.

However, from the time I was called, always in the back of my mind was the fact that 2010 would be an Old Testament year. I started to think of ways I could get released before that dreaded year. It didn't happen.

When 2010 began, and I was still teaching, I knew I had to figure out how to be released before I had to teach Isaiah. It didn't happen and today I taught my first Isaiah lesson. It was a sweet experience to read, study, and better understand about the Savior as a result of the words of Isaiah.

I'm so thankful for this opportunity that has forced me into the scriptures in a way I've not experienced before. I've have learned so much and have grown to love the scriptures in a way I haven't before.

Also, I'm thankful for the great members of my class. They teach me so much and are so patient with me while I learn.