Saturday, August 13, 2016

Seminary Prep!

I have to admit that I'm feeling overwhelmed with the responsibilities I have been given, but I am so grateful for the opportunity to teach seminary.   I look forward to the spiritual enlightenment that comes from studying the word of God. 

I never expected to feel this way, but I'm getting anxious to begin seminary, but I still have a lot of prep, so I'm not rushing it.

Along with preparing for seminary, I have been preparing for a talk I'll give in Sacrament Mtg.  
The Stake President asked that each seminary teacher speak in their ward this month.  I begin that tomorrow, in the Royal 1st Ward and 3rd Branch.  (The 1st ward teacher is out of town, so it's my privilege.)  We will also have our short kick off meeting with the students and their parents.  We start the 29th!!!!

Elder Packer referred to seminary as a "God Send" - I believe it.
I am grateful for all of the teachers and students who helped make seminary a “God Send” for me and my family.    

I had a fun moment with a mathematical equation.

I was adding up the years that my family has been blessed through seminary. 

9 children x 4 years of seminary 
+ Terry and I x 4 years 
+ Terry taught 2+ years  
+ I taught one.  
= 47+ years of seminary.  

+ my mother and father x 4 years  
+ father taught 2+ years  
+ Terry’s mother and father attended? x 4 (I'm guessing they attended) 
+ she taught 1 (or 2, 3, ?)  
= 67+ years of seminary.

I can continue ...

+ 6 of my siblings x 4 years (+ some have taught seminary)
+ 5 of Terry's siblings x 4 years (+ some have taught seminary)
+ 7 daughters in law x 4 years
= 139+ years of seminary. 

But acquiring spiritual knowledge isn’t just for seminary students and teachers; it is for every one of us.    So...

If I use those same people in my family, as if they had each studied the scriptures just once daily in a personal or a family setting since they were 1 year old, my numbers would change.

67+ becomes 675+ years of acquiring spiritual knowledge
139+ would be 845+.

It continues
+ my grandchildren 
+ my grandparents
+ Terry's grandparents
=  1480+ years of acquiring spiritual knowledge.  

Imagine what that number would be if I added all of our ancestors from their first missionary discussion to now.

All of these years of seeking and acquiring spiritual knowledge have blessed our lives, helped us make better choices, directed us in the proper path, prepared us for upcoming experiences, and brought us closer to Jesus Christ. 

This doesn't mean that no one has made mistakes or faltered, but it does mean we have the proper foundation to keep us steadfast and immovable if we continue on the right path.

Now, for your listening pleasure...

Thursday, August 11, 2016

There is Beauty All Around!

My mom and dad came to visit us the last week of July.  They had their van packed full of tools and wood and more, and their hearts filled with love.  They were anxious to begin the projects that needed to be done.  I knew they were coming and would be working on my windows - framing them in.

My dad measured the windows last time they were here.  He purchased the wood and cut it and painted it before he came.  Then put them up and touched them up.  Anthony caulked around almost every window. I helped paint the touch up on the walls, but that is the extent of my help.  (I'll be doing more of that soon.)

The window project wasn't the only thing he had on his agenda - he brought his weed eater and began to use it everywhere.  He trimmed the trees in the back and the one in the front.   The weather was hot and awful, but he was determined and was going to complete the work he set out to do.  He has always worked hard and accomplished good things and there is no stopping him now.  And my mother was beside him most every minute of the day - helping, taking him cold water, visiting, and just enjoying being together.  I love that about them.

My yard looks so clean!
It has been many years since one person has done so much on his own, in one week in my yard.  My dad is champion!

As I drove to my home after my seminary inservice meeting the day after they left, I felt so pleased and excited to see the clean yard and beautiful windows.

He was going to put up shutters, but my order arrived late and they were definitely not the quality I was hoping for.  I sent them back.  I'll decide later if I want to get another, better brand.  For now, it's lovely just the way it is.

The corner where he trimmed the trees looks so nice.  It really is delightful to see.  I didn't realize how discouraging it was to me until I now see it so clean.  I feel much "lighter" - seems like a strange way to describe it, but it's how I feel.  

It looks great everywhere!  Well, we do live on a farm, in a part of the country where weeds are plentiful, so we still have weeds around us, but the yard we live and play in looks great.

You'll see in the next two photos that there is some smoke rising to the south of our house.  That was last Saturday, 7:30 am.  No worries for our property, but I'm so sad for everything it destroyed where ever it was.   It just kept traveling eastward and up Saddle Mt along it's way. It seems that every summer for the past several summers, we've had fires around us to keep our air filled with smoke.  It is common now, but it wasn't always that way.  This is as close as it's ever been to us.  So much destruction taking place - wish we could control it.

No matter what else is going on around us, when I walk out on my deck, to the south, and then turn around, I see this corner that brightens my day.  The trimmed trees and shrubs, the weeded area around the border and fence.  This is the way I feel wherever I look in my yard.  There is beauty all around!

The phrase "a picture tells a thousand words" might fit here, but there is only one word that comes to mind - LOVE!  
Well maybe a few words.   MY DAD!  MY MOM!  TERRY!  HEAVENLY FATHER AND JESUS CHRIST!   GRATITUDE!  My heart is full!

I know my parents love me.  I am grateful for them and for their kindnesses to me and my children and grandchildren.  My children and grandchildren love them.  We enjoyed having them with us.

I am so grateful for Terry and for all that he did for us.  He was a good provider and father and husband.  I am grateful for this area that we homesteaded - he is here among the beauty.

I am grateful for my Heavenly Father and for my Savior.  I love Them, and I know They love me.  I could not endure without Them.  All that I have is because of Them.   "I feel my Savior's love, in all the world around me" - but especially in my little part of the world.