Sunday, November 16, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #16

I am grateful for wonderful parents who are happy to go on juice and cough-drop runs for me and accompany people for me.

I am grateful for a loving sister who shared her delicious pumpkin chocolate chip cookies with us.

I am grateful for an awesome brother who put up our Christmas lights. I'm so excited for Christmas!

I am grateful for a fabulous sister who waited patiently for a turn to talk to Mom while I found disinfectant wipes for the phone after my turn.

I am grateful for the beautiful necklace I got from my talented cousin to remind me be thankful. Her website is:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #15

I am grateful that my pain level was low enough today that I could teach (very important since we have a recital next Saturday!) I couldn't breathe - but I could teach, sort of :)

I am grateful for wonderful students who are patient with my health problems. I am especially grateful for my students who came today. They are from India and their Mom brought me homemade Sambar - an Indian soup that I love! Perfect timing...

Friday, November 14, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #14

I am grateful for Tylenol 3 with Codeine. I am grateful for a doctor who trusts me so I had some Tylenol 3 with Codeine on hand when I really needed it today.

And I am so grateful for all of the well wishes and love that have been sent to me since I posted that I was sick. They have been a bright spot in my brain-fuzzy days! Thank you!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #13

"Blah," said Toad.
Remember how yesterday I said that sometimes my body acts like an angsty, rebellious teenager? Well, just to prove my point it came down with a raging sinus infection hours after posting yesterday. And since whining always helps:

"Blah," said jkRibbit.

Okay, I'm done now. I am thankful for Puffs Plus facial tissue (pronounced with the "S" sound, not "sh") with lotion for my rubbed-raw nose. I am thankful for hot cider mix and apple-cherry juice. I am thankful for soup. I am thankful for extra-strength Tylenol, aspirin and cough drops. I am thankful for my comfy cozy bed, comfy cozy covers and comfy cozy pillows. I am thankful for "Gilmore Girls" on DVD to keep me company while I try to sleep. I am thankful that the scriptures always say that "It came to pass" and never "it came to stay."

I am thankful for my body. I am thankful for my body. I am thankful for my body.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #12

I am grateful for my physical body.

I have had to learn how to make that statement true many times in my life, including this last week. As I've gone through this healing process, I have been so blessed to be able to come off of several medications. Last week, I was brave enough to come off of another medication that I've been taking for several years. There were some pretty good benefits to taking this medication, and I have been very worried about some of the side effects of not taking it anymore. But there were some pretty yucky side effects from taking the medication and I knew that it was time. My body was strong enough and ready to come off it. I just wasn't sure if I was emotionally ready. I decided to choose faith instead of fear.

This weekend was kind of rough - but not nearly as bad as I was expecting. I just felt drained (hence the need to play catch-up on this blog!). I am grateful that I did not "fall apart" (which is really what I was dreading) and that while I did have some pain, it was very manageable pain. I am very grateful that I was able to make this transition and for the love and support of my family while I did.

Then on Monday, I went for my yearly full body mole check (one of the joys of being fair skinned!). The doctor wanted to remove a couple of moles that seemed irregular - just to be on the safe side. One was on the bottom of my foot - the one connected to the ankle I sprained a couple of months ago - so walking has been a treat! The other one, for some reason, decided not to clot - and kept bleeding all night. I went back to the doctor yesterday and they painted it with some sort of liquid iron. Weird, but it worked. I am grateful for doctors who know what they're doing. I am also grateful for my Gorgeous Grandma who provided some much needed comic relief. She thought I said that I had a full body "mold" check! Apparently she's concerned that I'm growing moldy :)

Sometimes it feels like my body is at war with itself, like it is an angsty and rebellious teenager! Sometimes it is hard to be grateful for a body that has so many struggles. But I am grateful for the gentle reminders from the Spirit that this physical body was created in God's image - that one of the main purposes for coming to this earth was to gain a physical body. I wrote an article for the New Era on this very subject - and I still find myself needing to relearn it. But I am grateful for that opportunity.

I am grateful for the opportunity to have stewardship over my physical elements. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn how to lead them to exist peacefully and healthily. I am grateful for the knowledge the Lord has blessed me with in regard to my health. I am grateful that He led me to try BodyTalk and for the relief and answers I've found because of it.

I am grateful for my body.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #11

Happy Birthday, AngelFish!

Today I am grateful for my beautiful sister AngelFish! I am grateful that she is in my family and that we are sisters. When AngelFish was born, we were trying to sell our house and build a new one in Farmington. My grandparents were on a mission and we were staying in their house in Farmington. Of course, things never work out the way you plan! My grandparents came home early for health reasons and we never were able to sell our house (we found out later that our dear next door nieghbor, Grandma Dot, prayed that we wouldn't leave - she really has an "in"!) So, when AngelFish was just a few weeks old (and I was 3 1/2 years old) we were moving back in to our house. Mom was unpacking boxes in the kitchen and AngelFish started to cry in the other room. She decided to let AngelFish cry for a few minutes so she could finish the box she was working on and after a minute or two, the crying stopped. When she went in to check on AngelFish, I was sitting on the floor rocking AngelFish and singing to her. I am grateful for that new little sister who awoke my mothering instincts and was patient enough to let a 3 year old practice mothering!

I am grateful for AngelFish's courage to accept a mission call to serve in Russia. She is strong in her testimony of the gospel and is strong in her determination to do what's right. I am grateful for that example.

I really think that our age difference is a very awkward one. It always seemed that I was going through a crabby/difficult phase when AngelFish wanted to be friends and by the time I grew out of it, she was going through a crabby/difficult phase and didn't want to be friends. (Although I'm pretty sure I had much more crabby/difficult phases than she did!). I am grateful that AngelFish was patient with me and never gave up on being friends. I am grateful that I've had the opportunity as an adult to really work on having a good relationship with my sister and that she's forgiven me for all of the rotten things I did when we were younger! I am so grateful for sisters who are also friends. I am grateful for the love and support we offer each other.

Monday, November 10, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #10

I love how the Book of Mormon begins:

"I, Nephi, having been born of goodly parents, therefore I was taught somewhat in all the learning of my father; and having seen many afflictions in the course of my days, nevertheless, having been highly favored of the Lord in all my days; yea, having had a great knowledge of the goodness and the mysteries of God, therefore I make a record of my proceedings in my days."

There is so much in that one, first verse! Yes, life is going to be hard - there will be afflictions. But even with trials, life can be good. The Lord loves us and will bless us. We need to teach our children of the Lord and seek to learn of Him ourselves. So much!! But I also love that Nephi starts off by stating that he was born of goodly parents. I, too, have been born of goodly parents.

I am grateful for the blessing of having parents who love each other and love me. I am grateful that my parents also love the Lord and have taught me of Him. I am grateful that my parents committed to each other for all eternity and were sealed as an eternal family in the temple. I am grateful for the opportunity to someday make that same committment to my best friend and start an eternal family with him. I am grateful for the opportunity to someday become a mother and teach my children to love the Lord. I pray for these blessings and choose to have hope and faith that they will come to pass.

And, for your viewing pleasure, I've included some of my favorite pictures of my parents! (Some of them I should have posted in June when they celebrated their 35 anniversary - but the summer was crazy and I never got around to it! I guess better late than never.) I am grateful for pictures :)

Sunday, November 9, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #9

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who loves me enough to push me to help me grow. I was recently prompted that it was time to be brave and try the Singles Branch in my Stake. And while that doesn't sound like a very hard thing to do to some people, it is very hard for me. I don't like change (see my previous post about control issues!). I've also been rather isolated because of my health (which, thankfully, is improving!). But I think the hardest thing for me is leaving my home ward.

I grew up in my home ward. Half of the ward feels like they helped raise me - and they did. I have at least a dozen extra "Grandma"s in my home ward. They see the full potential in me. They pray for me, cry for me, cheer for me and are always there to offer the best hugs in the world. My home ward was literally home. My time there has been a time of renewal for me.

I am so grateful for the concept of a ward family. I am grateful for all of my extra "Grandma"s. I am grateful for this period of rest and renewal. And I am grateful that it will always be my home ward - I can always visit and come back.

I have been to the Singles Branch a couple of times now, and I am so grateful for the kindness and welcome that has been shown to me. I am grateful for the opportunity to meet new people and socialize again. I am grateful for the opportunity to be brave and to grow.

I am grateful for a loving Heavenly Father who always sees my full potential and prompts me to find it myself.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #8

I sang in a recital this afternoon. The song I sang is from a straight-to-video movie called "Joseph: King of Dreams." It was a follow-up movie to "Prince of Egypt." I love the message of the song and I'm so grateful I was finally able to find the music. I ended up needing to transpose it down a bit - I'm no longer a soprano! - but I'm very happy with how it turned out. Here are the words:

Better Than I
from Joseph: King of Dreams

I thought I did what’s right.
I thought I had the answers.
I thought I chose the surest road -
but that road brought me here.
So I put up a fight
and told you how to help me.
Now just when I have given up,
the truth is coming clear.

You know better than I,
You know the way.
I’ve let go the need to know why
for you know better than I.

If this has been a test,
I cannot see the reason.
But maybe knowing I don’t know
is part of getting through.
I try to do what’s best.
And faith has made it easy
to see the best thing I can do
is put my trust in you.

For you know better than I,
You know the way.
I’ve let go the need to know why
for you know better than I.

I saw one cloud and thought it was the sky.
I saw a bird and thought that I could follow.
But it was you who taught that bird to fly.
If I let you reach me, will you teach me?

For you know better than I,
You know the way.
I’ve let go the need to know why.
I’ll take what answers you supply.
You know better than I.

I've had a lot of ponderings lately on my need to trust the Lord. I like to be in control - a personality trait that was only intensified by my health problems. I am really trying to let go and let the Lord guide my life. I have really tried to live by Elder Cook's counsel to "Live by Faith and Not by Fear." If I try to control everything, I am letting my life be guided by fear - fear of the unknown, fear of failure. I don't want to live that way. But if I choose to allow the Lord to guide my life, then I am letting go of that fear and living in Faith. It is a hard lesson and one I'm still struggling with. The song's thoughts on letting go and trusting the Lord because He knows "better than I" really express what I am trying to learn.

I am grateful for good music that enriches my life. I am grateful for the talents I've been blessed with and for the opportunity to share my feelings through music. I am grateful for such a wonderful voice teacher. She seriously has the "Midas touch" and she is a good friend. I am grateful for my Gorgeous Grandma who has been to every single recital I've ever been in, including today. She has my recital for my students already written on her calendar.

And yes, this is one of the songs on my CD :)

Friday, November 7, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #7

Yesterday I had a good friend suggest some reading from one of Elder Maxwell's books, "Not My Will, But Thine". The chapter I read last night was amazing and powerful. I am grateful for this friend and for his recommendation.

As I was touched by many of the things Elder Maxwell said, I starting thinking of all of my favorite quotes by Elder Maxwell - and they are a lot! So today, I am grateful for Elder Maxwell, for his service and example. I am grateful for his willingness to share his spiritual insights so that I can grow as well. And in that same spirit of sharing, here are some of my favorite Elder Maxwell quotes. These first are from that chapter last night:
  • One of the most important contributions submissiveness makes to our individual happiness occurs in crucial moments of truth. These are moments when we teeter back and forth between surrender to Him and surrender to ourselves, between obedience and defiance. Submissiveness not only helps us to make right resolutions but also dissolves our pride, with its worry about what others will think if we admit error and yield to God.
  • Spiritual submissiveness is not blind faith but deliberate obedience.
  • Submission to God, among many things, requires us to strip ourselves of our pride in order to be obedient to Him.
  • Certain supernal spiritual blessings seem to come only after demonstrated obedience.
One of my favorite talks by Elder Maxwell is "Notwithstanding My Weakness" from the November 1976 Ensign. Here are some of my favorite quotes from that talk (although I highly encourage you to read the entire talk!):
  • The scriptural advice, "Do not run faster or labor more than you have strength" (D&C 10:4) suggests paced progress, much as God used seven creative periods in preparing man and this earth. There is a difference, therefore, between being "anxiously engaged" and being over-anxious and thus underengaged.
  • We can distinguish more clearly between divine discontent and the devil's dissonance, between dissatisfaction with self and disdain for self. We need the first and must shun the second, for when conscience calls to us from the next ridge, it is not solely to scold but also to beckon.
  • We can make quiet but more honest inventories of our strengths, since, in this connection, most of us are dishonest bookkeepers and need confirming "outside auditors." He who was thrust down in the first estate delights to have us put ourselves down. Self-contempt is of Satan; there is none of it in heaven. We should, of course, learn from our mistakes, but without forever studying the instant replays as if these were the game of life itself.
  • We can learn that at the center of our agency is our freedom to form a healthy attitude toward whatever circumstances we are placed in!
  • Discouragement is not the absence of adequacy but the absence of courage, and our personal progress should be yet another way we witness to the wonder of it all!
Another of my favorite talks from Elder Maxwell is "Endure It Well" from the May 1990 Ensign. I haven't read it for awhile - that's on my agenda for today. And one final quote - I have this on a magnet and I haven't been able to find any source information so far - if you can help, please leave a comment!
  • Faith in God includes faith in His timing.
I found it! It was in the beginning of the very next chapter after the one I read last night! From Elder Maxwell's "Not My Will, But Thine":
  • Real faith in God includes faith in His timing.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #6

Last night, between 10 and 11 p.m., I ordered some boots. It was a very responsible thing to do seeing how our world was covered in snow yesterday. It was probably not so responsible that I waited until our first real snow storm to order them. Also, the boots I chose don't exactly scream responsible. Let me rephrase that. The boots I chose are very responsible - they have good traction and will keep my feet warm and dry. The pattern I chose doesn't exactly scream responsible :)

At 2:00 this afternoon, 15-16 hours after I ordered these boots, I answered the door for my piano student and my boots were sitting on our porch waiting for me. Not even 24 hours turn around! I am very impressed. What is even more impressive is that the shipping was free. The shipping is also free if I decide not to keep them. Are you impressed yet? I sure am! And where, you are wondering, did I find these fabulous boots with free, fast shipping? At Zappos!

I am grateful for new winter boots that are practical and whimsical at the same time. I am grateful for my new found joy in snow and improved health giving me a desire to play in the snow so I need new boots. I am grateful for Zappos and for free, fast shipping!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #5

Happy Blogday to me! I've been blogging for 1 year! I am grateful for the opportunity to express my thoughts and feelings and keep in touch with friends and family. I am grateful for all of the kind and supportive comments I've received. Thank you!

I am also grateful for a beautiful snowstorm today. When I first started getting sick, it was in the middle of a particularly harsh winter. For many years snow and winter symbolized that hard time in my life. The days get shorter, colder and darker. My anxiety and depression increased. Winter was something to endure and survive. But the last few years, as I've healed, I've been able to enjoy and even look forward to winter. Everything is beautiful and white. And Christmas is coming! I am grateful that I am able to see the beauty and joy of snow again.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #4

I am grateful for the opportunity to vote. I am grateful that I live in this country and have the liberties and freedoms that I do. I am so grateful for our troops who risk their lives to keep our country safe and free. (And for a great post on that, visit this site.) I am also so grateful that Proposition 8 passed in California - that people stood up for the sanctity of marriage.

Monday, November 3, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #3

I made one of my favorite soup recipes tonight Potato Cheddar Soup. It is so good! I am grateful for yummy food :) I am grateful for good recipes. I am also grateful for a family that is appreciative of my efforts in the kitchen :)

Sunday, November 2, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #2

When I was three months old, my Mom went back to teaching school. A neighbor lady babysat me. Her daughter, who is almost 14 months older than I, and I have been inseparable ever since. BFF and I have literally been Best Friends Forever. We are sisters. I believe that were were best friends before we came to this earth and that we promised to help each other through the trials we would face. Today I was able to keep part of that promise.

I am so grateful for my friendship, my kinship, with BFF. I am grateful that I was led to take BodyTalk training and that I was able to use that skill to help a loved one. And this is the hard one, but I am grateful for the trials that I've been through. They have made the woman that I am now and they have prepared me to be of service to those that I love. They were hard - are still hard! - but they are part of my refiner's fire and they have brought me closer to my Savior.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

30 Days of Thanksgiving #1

What a gorgeous fall day! I was able to go up hiking with AngelFish and LSOC. It was so beautiful! Today I'm thankful that my health has improved enough that I could climb a mountain and not die! That is a major accomplishment! I am also thankful for such a beautiful world. We took so many pictures - these are the highlights...

I'm trying to decide which of these last two is my favorite...any thoughts?