I belong to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I know who I am. I know God's plan. I'll follow him in faith. I believe in the Savior, Jesus Christ. I'll honor his name. I'll do what is right; I'll follow his light. His truth I will proclaim.

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

Sunday, January 31, 2010

"The Wintry Day"

Day 31

I have been loving our snowy weekend.

It helps to be blessed with a warm home full of friends and food, and my ever-loved bed. And blankets. And warm clothes. And running water. And games. And music. And books. And even electricity.

There are 5 of us "snowed in" together. While many times I crave my independence, it's also nice to be in a family setting with love and laughter.

So while the few inches we received is a pathetic excuse for canceling church, people who cannot drive in snow, roads not being cleared, and most of the snow actually being inches of ice concealed under a bit of powder are pretty good reasons. Thus I had to "make" my Sabbath on my own without the chance to go to the Lord's house.

So I went out into His world.
I took a leisurely (and slightly humorous) walk in the ice snow. With little to no cars or people about, it was sheer loveliness.
I brought along the iPod to listen to my Sunday music. You may imagine the smile and worshipping that came with walking by a scene like this
while hearing the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sing "Praise to the Lord, the Almighty" or a choir sing "My Kindness Shall Not Depart from Thee."

Too lovely to pass up, so I sat down to soak it in. (It was not very cold. I'm used to MUCH colder!) A lovely place for reading, pondering, reflection, and contemplation.
Other activities of reading the Ensign, preparing for my lesson next Sunday, reading the sections for Institute in a couple of days, resting, listening to my Sunday playlist for hours, watching Music & the Spoken Word (I miss the regularity of that in my life!), and watching an LDS worship service were just some of the things to add to my Sabbath day.

But nothing quite compared to my communion with my Father by enjoying some of the world His Son created by His power and authority.

The Wintry Day, Descending to Its Close

by Orson F. Whitney

The wintry day, descending to its close,
Invites all wearied nature to repose,
And shades of night are falling dense and fast
Like sable curtains closing o'er the past.
Pale through the gloom the newly fallen snow
Wraps in a shroud the silent earth below
As though 'twere mercy's hand had spread the pall,
A symbol of forgiveness unto all.

I cannot go to rest but linger still
In meditation at my window sill,
While, like the twinkling stars in heaven's dome,
Come one by one sweet memories of home.
And wouldst thou ask me where my fancy roves
To reproduce the happy scenes it loves?
Where hope and memory together dwell
And paint the pictured beauties that I tell?

Away beyond the prairies of the West
Where exiled Saints in solitude were blest;
Where industry the seal of wealth has set
Amid the peaceful vales of Deseret,
Unheeding still the fiercest blasts that blow,
With tops encrusted by eternal snow,
The towering peaks that shield the tender sod,
Stand, types of freedom reared by nature's God.

The wilderness, that naught before would yield,
Is now become a fertile, fruitful field.
Where roamed at will the savage Indian band,
The templed cities of the Saints now stand.
And sweet religion in its purity
Invites all men to its security.
This is my home, the spot I love so well,
Whose worth and beauty pen nor tongue can tell.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

"That's who I am"

Day 30

Serene is doing a Picture of the Day Challenge. I'm supposed to "look around and find something that speaks who [I] am." At first I wanted to just find something among pictures I've already taken. I take lots. LOTS. On all my "adventures" my camera is in hand. I want to document my life because there is plenty to document even if it is mostly just me and a stuffed turtle.

So I started looking through my pictures. Hmm...it's either me or Bob or no one in the pictures. The posed pictures don't seem to speak as naturally as others. Yet often the unposed pictures are only about one thing here or there. Not really who I am. I am so many things. And it's tough to show that in that one fun afternoon, or that great vacation moment, or....

Then I looked at around me on this snowy (yes! actual snow that stuck and covered the ground!) day.
These are the days I like to be lazy. And perhaps I'll clean that one corner of my room that I always say I need to clean.

Yet I never get to it. Because in spite of my love for cleaning and being in a clean environment, I always have to have some spot where I unload all my gunk and just let it be. In my own apartment, that was my room. As I now live in one room, it has become a section of that room. Which in the last week got particularly messy as I did some of those things that speak of who I am. I saw it and thought, "Aha!" And snapped the photo.

Wow. It speaks volumes.

Then the thought came to me that there is one other picture that speaks even louder of who I am, and always will be.

Today, I am happy and grateful...to be me.

I am Rosemary's granddaughter,

The spitting image of my father,

And when the day is done my momma's still my biggest fan.

Sometimes I'm clueless and I'm clumsy,

But I've got friends that love me

And they know just where I stand.

It's all a part of me

And that's who I am.

-from "Who I Am" by Jessica Andrews

Friday, January 29, 2010

Another love has come along

Day 29

It isn't often that one finds a wonderful period drama film adaptation of a book. There's always some thing, some part, some character, some acting, some scenery, some unnecessary addition, some direction...some thing that doesn't sit well with us. Usually it's enough some things that add up to it being a good movie. But not THE adaptation that you tell everyone they must see.

Yet occasionally, it does come along. Jane Eyre for one. The Toby Stephens version. It's amazing! Wonderful, wonderful, wonderful. With so many Austen adaptations, I have so many views. I have my favorites, but not many must-sees. The new Northanger Abbey is close, but still missing a couple of my favorite parts. The new Sense and Sensibility, well, I'm exceedingly happy with that one, too. (Except for the opening scene. I do like the behind closed doors of Austen to stay behind those doors--on the other side of me.)

Well, finally a version of Emma has come along that is IT. The thing. I'll be fine watching the other versions, but I would be perfectly content to only watch this new Romola Garai and Jonny Lee Miller version for the rest of my time on earth. Wonderful happiness!

What perfect book-to-film period drama adaptations bring you joy?

Thursday, January 28, 2010

"Choco, Choco, Choco-late"

Day 28

Devil's Food chocolate cake cookies with double chocolate chips and oatmeal. Who can beat that when they have an insane chocolate craving? Especially when they invented the cookie on the spur of the craving and on a whim and a prayer? Mmmm-mmmm.

What are some of your favorite chocolate craving satiators?

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Music - A Food of Love

Day 27

There is so much that I could say for today. So much. But I thought I would be grateful for Mozart. Today is his 254th birthday. And I felt a connection not only because I love music, but because I've actually been to his birthplace. The house as well as the city. I thought it would be nice to be grateful for someone who has given me so much music to appreciate and uplift. I only wish I knew it well enough to say which pieces I like the most.

Happy Mozart to You!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Moving the Cheese

Day 26

Decisions and change can certainly bring a lot of stress. A lot of stress. I've spent years trying to learn how to handle stress better, especially as decisions and change will never stop in my life. So while I have just had placed in my lap an extremely huge decision to make and my stress level shot extremely high, I still feel relatively calm. And still (mostly) at peace. But mostly, I'm grateful. Grateful that I have agency to choose directions, influences, and experiences in and for my life. With a little temporal and spiritual guidance, I know the choice I make will be the right and best one for me.

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stuck in Traffic

Day 25

It took me 40 minutes longer to get to work than expected because of weather and a bad accident that diverted a lot of traffic. It could have stressed me. It could have annoyed me. (That's what usually happens when I have some place or appointment to be and unexpected delays keep me from getting ot the place/appointment on time.)

But it didn't. Instead, I took the opportunity to enjoy the classical music station and to work on some crocheting during the stand-still stops. I actually had quite an enjoyable time coming, and I'm grateful that what could have been long and stressful was not.

Yay for attitude, perspective, and finding something else to occupy me.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Come to Jesus

Day 24

I thought I'd worn my 3 favorite dresses already this year. But I forgot about the one I chose. It's my "little black dress" that I got for $1. Very flattering to my figure, yet I think still quite modest. I like to wear my favorite black skirt underneath it so I feel more comfortable when I sit. (Especially as I was trying the organ in choir today.) I made a discovery that the dress and skirt together twirl magnificently. I love a dress that twirls! And I love the way it feels in dancing. I don't typically dance on Sunday, but when I do, I assure you it is of a very reverent and worshipful nature. Tonight I realized a song that I will always love to interpret through dance: Kenneth Cope's version of "Come to Jesus."

And on the lesser spiritual note, yes, the verse about dancing is made all the more joyous and fulfilling with an excellent twirly skirt.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Bread and (Peanut) Butter

Day 23

I love how organic creamy peanut butter tastes upon my wonderful, cannot-eat-any-other-kind 8-grain bread. I love that bread. More than words can say. For two years I kept my Costco membership specifically so I could buy that bread. (They do not sell it anywhere else--not even online! I know. I checked.) The bread is hearty, healthy, lasting, and has actual substance. Ever since discovering this bread, all other store bought loaves of bread make me want to gag. (Note: There is recent controversy about a change in the recipe and packaging of the bread. While I could tell something was different, I haven't had my bread in over 10 months, so I'm currently not too miffed by the difference. If the bread goes moldy faster, then yeah, I'll have something to gripe over.)

Organic peanut butter was something I discovered over a year ago. For someone who doesn't like sweet things, organic peanut butter is perfect! It taste like peanut butter should, instead of sugary brown thickness. It's (slightly) better for you, too. I'm not always in a peanut butter mood. Dislike of nuts is probably related to that. But after a break from it, I usually devour it with gusto for a couple of weeks. Still, I can only eat it in certain ways. And on my bread? It's perfect!

Are there any foods that bring you so much joy you insist on being particular about them?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Once there was Gordon

Day 22

I forgot how much I love Gordon McRae's voice. I forgot, that is, untl tonight.

See, I may love Josh's voice. But Gordon's was in my life first and, thus, longest.

Since 3rd grade it was Gordon who told me how beautiful the morning is.

And teased and flirted with me about how others talked about us.

Though he broke my heart in 7th grade, yet he still mended and melted it when he told me how he loved me.

And in high school he made me silly with talk of moonlight.

And could win me over simply by telling me I was the only girl for him.

But tonight? Oh, nothing can beat tonight when he told me he only has eyes for me.


Unfortunately, I'll have to keep that to myself--unless you have access to Tea for Two.

I love a man who can sing--particularly a good tenor/baritone. What about you?

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Treasures from the Earth

Day 21

There are so many foods we did not have when I was growing up. Many fresh fruits and vegetables were probably surpassed simply because it was too expensive to frequently buy them to feed our large family. So I feel quite backward and behind when it comes to some food. Thus, I am very much enjoying learning about "new" foods--what their health benefits are, how to prepare them, what they taste like. One of these foods is edamame beans (aka green soybeans). They are really good, and very healthy. It's also like embracing my Asian heritage. I love how Heavenly Father placed so many wonderful good-for-us things all around us. Wish I'd known more about a lot of them when I was growing up, but at least it's not too late to find them now.
Here's to discovering more "new" foods!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

How I Got the Nickname Turbo

Day 20

Two words: Turbo Jam!

That was one of the best purchases I could have ever made. No gym fees. No extra fitness equipment. Just a few DVDs with routines that I never tire of and which always get me going. They have lasted me almost 4 years and have paid for themselves multiple times over.

Having a much lessened fear of hurting my recently weakened right arm, today I started up the DVD(s) again after a much too long hiatus. And what a burst of energy, fun, and joy while also helping me become more fit! So great!

What do you do to psyche yourself up for exercising? What exercising do you enjoy?

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Whistle (or Smile) While You Work

Day 19

I love a busy morning. It always makes me feel useful. Oftentimes at work we are in long, slow periods that drag. I find it so hard to feel focused and productive. I've had to learn, of course. And I think I've succeeded there. But when I can spend a morning as the "senior staff member" setting up the entire Ref department for the day (including getting things ready for the computer class), help with the 4 days' worth of book drops, and also teach a class while running the Ref desk...ah! Bliss!

I love a good day's/morning's/hour's work.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Money--I hate, loathe, despise, and abominate money." "You also spend it!"

Day 18

400 more dollars than I had accounted for in my car budget later, I was still able to find two somethings to be very grateful for.

1) That there are people who know cars and can catch things (like two tires having broken belts) and replace them before things could have been drastic and dangerous somewhere later on down the road...even if it meant 4 more unexpected hours of sitting in the car place waiting room. Good thing I had a good book to read! (OK. Maybe that makes it 3 things....)

2) That (seconded by my mother) I could drown my temporary car-financial woes in pie--which I've been craving for 2 days. Not just any pie. Already made for me Marie Callender's Razzleberry Pie. Mmmmmm. So worth it.

3) Wait, wait. Another thing. So this is technically #4. I'm grateful I had enough working room in the budget to pay for what I needed to and not have any drastic effects anywhere else. Ah--it pays (literally) to have money set aside.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Lift Me Up

Day 17

There was some unexpected toughness to my day. The kind that had me crying on my very long drive home (1.5 hours)...in the rain. But I cheered myself up by praying aloud to a Father who completely understands, and singing Sunday songs in joyful praise and thankfulness to Him and His Son. It helped me know and feel confident that I can face this new round of trials that will be affecting quite a few people.

What do you do to pull yourself out of the toughnesses that come with every day life?

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A little here, a little there

Day 16

I am thrilled beyond measure, immensely grateful, and exceedingly happy with today's news:

I have lost 10 pounds in 5 weeks!!!!

Smart eating choices and enjoying making them are so rewarding!

Friday, January 15, 2010

"Put Your Shoulder to the Wheel"

Day 15

So I could have written about it yesterday, but I wanted to get through the day to make it complete. I passed my two year mark at my job yesterday. When I first began I wondered if I could. It wasn't anything as I had been led to believe it would be. But I found my niche and have come to love my job so much. Indeed, with all of the other trials that arose in my life these past 2 years, my job has been my one steady and sustaining point--aside from the Gospel and my Savior, of course.

Every day I am not only grateful that I have employment, but that I have a job I sincerely love and enjoy, and gain much from.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

"'Give' Said the Little Stream"

Day 14 1/2

What? I can be happy and grateful for more than one thing in a day! :-) I just wanted to convey my excitement of my friend Serene's first giveaway at her blog. It's pretty neat that she was contacted for doing a giveaway. And while I'm happy for her, I'm also happy for me.

I know, I know. I've only entered and haven't won anything. What really makes me happy is that shiny fondue pot, and the thought of all the melted cheese it could hold. Oh my. I love cheese. That's an understatement. And a half.

Cheese. Cheese. Cheese! Mmmmm.... It is so good. It's one thing I have had to cut back a lot of in my recent eating habits. (Who knew one teeny, delectable cube of cheese could be that many calories!) It's a sad thing, but at least I can still eat it. (The nice thing about these eating habits. Nothing is off limits!) So I am enjoying the thoughts of cheese fondue that entering this giveaway has given me.

Head over yourself to enter and have some of your own happy thoughts!

Fat Cats

Day 14

Once in a while our catalog tries to be all smart and think that we meant something else than what we typed. Usually it is just a couple of letters difference. So you can imagine the burst of laughter that came out when I typed in

Philip DePoy
and was asked if I meant
flabby tabby

Ah, that smile and laugh were very much appreciated. I notice that I often find my happinesses in just the little things. Which I think is a good thing, because I could be waiting around for the big ones for a long time. And I'd rather find happiness every day.

O [love God], what can I say more?

"God the Eternal Father did not give [the] first great commandment because He needs us to love Him. His power and glory are not diminished should we disregard, deny, or even defile His name. His influence and dominion extend through time and space independent of our acceptance, approval, or admiration.

"No, God does not need us to love Him. But oh, how we need to love God!

"For what we love determines what we seek.

"What we seek determines what we think and do.

"What we think and do determines who we are—and who we will become."

Dieter F. Uchtdorf, "The Love of God," Ensign, Nov. 2009, 21–22


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

In a Book

Day 13

OK. Maybe it's self-advertising here. But these are all about joy, gratitude, happiness, right? And what I'm finding in the day, right? Well, I've started a Book Club at my Austen Knows Best blog, and today I posted the discussion questions for our first book. It made me very, very happy.

I love the books I love.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

To Your Health

Day 12

I was sick 4 times last year. I suppose it was making up for the fact that I had not been sick in over 2.5 years. Very rare for me. Growing up I averaged 2 colds a winter. Rarely did I get a summer cold, but they weren't impossible. Being sick that often, I felt a bit of an expert on colds and they are usually not as overwhelming as they seem. I just sound/look/feel icky and am more tired and tired of being sick than I am sick.

So two of last year's illnesses were basically the colds I got "in the ol' days." I knew how to take care of them. However, one came at a particularly emotional trying time, and the other came at my birthday. So it was hard for different reasons, but I made it through. One illness lasted a fairly long time, was in the summer (always hard then), and had repercussions that I am still suffering from. The fourth illness was bizarre and out of the blue. "Just a cough" some said. I'll give you "just a cough!" Racked with pain and wheezing, trouble breathing, couldn't sleep. It was an awful, awful time.

I know what it is to enjoy good health. And be grateful for that good health. Especially when I'm surrounded by people who have gotten sick. Not only am I grateful that I am not sick, but I'm grateful that unlike a lot of my friends, I did not get sick over my vacation.

Never underestimate a day with good health.

Monday, January 11, 2010

Confessions of a Period Drama Lover

Day 11

Staying up much too late 3 nights in a row
Finishing Season 2 of "Robin Hood"
Watching the rest of Disc 2 of the 70s Anne of Avonlea
Seeing 2 movies about Queen Victoria (in 1 day!)
2 slightly red and puffy eyes on a Monday morning at work
1 unerasable smile on my face!

Sunday, January 10, 2010


Check out the new website for youth! I wish I had something like this when I was a teen. Or even a youth leader. Oh well. Guess I'll have it to use now as a Young Single Adult! :-)

Hymns to Him

Day 10

I had wonderful times when I sang in the BYU Choirs. They were some of my happiest experiences and memories. I remember so many of the songs we sang, and the impressions I received, or uplift, or strength, or...well...so much.

There are 2 songs that always stand out to me, which I love most dearly. They were Mack Wilberg arrangements. I love his music. And these two, well, my heart just leaps whenever I hear them sung. I'm so glad the Mormon Tabernacle Choir sings them often. But my heart also leaps when I get to sing them again. And not just the Wilberg arrangements, but the regular ones straight out of the hymnbook. I know I can sing loud, and I try not to be too loud when I sing in congregations. But with those two, I just cannot help it. They beg for being sung in joyous praising. Even rapturous.

And today, I was able to sing both! Our opening hymn in Sacrament meeting was Praise to the Lord, The Almighty.
Don't you love the men's verse? Oh--and the soprano harmonies at the end of the 4th verse? (I sang the 2.5 soprano part. ha ha ha) Oh. I love it so much. How can you not sing this with a smile on your face and in your heart.

Then tonight for the opening song during the CES Fireside with Elder Neil L. Andersen, we sang the other favorite of mine: Redeemer of Israel.
Another fantabulous men's verse. It always makes me want to cry, it's that beautiful. And then the excellent soprano descant. I love how I truly feel I'm soaring when I sing it.


Saturday, January 9, 2010

It's a Date!

Day 9

I like dates. These days I go on them by myself. No one asks, and few would I be able to say yes to as it is. Still having not been on a date with someone besides myself in almost 3 years, I like that long ago I decided not to wait for them in order to have my own fun and enjoyment. So I haven't. I've been on many now. They are always enjoyable and I have the best time. Today's was especially great. Happy, happy happiness.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Re Shui

Day 8

I don't like cold water. Never have. It was hard to stomach--literally. I've had to endure it where possible, but the worst times are in the winter. I keep the thermostat fairly low in "my rooms." When I was on my own, it was so I could afford it. Now it's so I don't cost my landlord and lady any more money than necessary. I find that dressing in my warm, comfy, fuzzy PJs and piling on the blankets makes the cold quite bearable. But trying to drink 4-8 oz. of water when I wake? It just doesn't work in a 60 degree room.

When I lived on my own, I solved this easily by heating my water on the stove as I got ready. Then I had wonderful almost-to-boiling water to drink. Mmmm. I do love hot water. (It was not until I started taking Chinese that I learned this is a very common Chinese--of not Asian--trait.) Well, I moved to "my rooms" and as mornings worked out, I didn't often make it down to the kitchen until I was heading out the door.

But after a couple of weeks, I couldn't bare it! I might have made it through last winter, but I just can't now. And I need my water. I drink about 3 quarts a day, and my body knows if it gets less. The only way I can get the 3 (since I have to work in the many restroom breaks while at work or out-and-about) is if I make sure to drink as much of the first quart before I leave. Thus, I am trying my best to get downstairs early enough to boil my water. It works well, too, because this gives me a calmer time of getting 2-3 meals for the day ready instead of rush-rush-grab-what-I-can.

So I'm grateful for time management. I'm grateful for a stove that works. And I'm especially grateful for a nice quart of hot water that is so soothing and comforting and delicious! Yum, yum, yum.

What have you made work in order to bring you the happiness you know you will enjoy?

Thursday, January 7, 2010

"I am...quite content."

Day 7

This was my Scripture-a-Day scripture, and I absolutely love it! It is so perfect for my life right now.

"...for I have learned, in whatsoever state I am, therewith to be content."

Oh, Paul. Amen.

Learning to be content is a lesson I learn repeatedly throughout my life. In many, many ways. Whether it was the school I was in. My employment. The choir I was part of. The literal state(s) I had to live in (with their cultures, weather, economies, laws, etc.). I noticed some time early on during my undergraduate college years that the many moves in my life and other changes that occurred had helped me learn to find happiness and joy wherever I was placed. And I have been quite grateful for that.

But especially recently, with things that reside within me--no matter where I am or go, it has been such a great blessing from the Lord to help me learn to be content with things not under my control. I am so happy to be content. It is a peace and serenity that is incomparable.

What in your life are you content with? What brings you contentment?

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Food, Glorious Food

Day 6

Wednesday nights are always difficult to come home after closing at work. Because I'm hungry. And I know I shouldn't eat that late, or that close to bedtime. Plus, I've spent almost a month being very careful of portion control and nutrients and such. It's been working great and I'm quite proud of myself. But that doesn't mean I don't miss feeling stuffed. Yes. I like that feeling. Not the I'm going to throw up if I move stuffed. But the I can tell there is food in my stomach. I know that just because I can eat the whole box of prepared macaroni and cheese, it doesn't mean I should. But I miss it. So though I'm still going to be as careful as I can be about the amount, I think it's OK to have a snack. And I am so grateful to have access to an abundance of food.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

A Cluster Here, A Cluster There

Day 5

Another worldly gratitude--and about clothes, again! But I just love my outfit today.

Love. It.
Probably more than I should. But oh well. What I'm grateful for is the concept of clustering. The term was introduced to me by my Image Consultant from Conselle, who told me I already had a good grasp on the concept. I can't imagine not using clustering. My desire to be thrifty and have fewer possessions fits in with it quite well.

Clustering basically means creating a variety of outfits from just a few items of clothing. For example, I have a much loved blouse that can go with various camis, pants, and skirts. With that one blouse, I have a possibility of 15 different outfits. Any time I discover a new outfit that works with what I already own, it is a happy day. This especially works for those items that are limited in capability. Like my suit. I love my suit. It looks so good, and is a size smaller than we had thought would fit me. :-) Always flattering and makes me feel professional, feminine, intelligent, slender, and sleek. Amazing what clothes can do. Really.

Anywho. The suit jacket came with pants and a skirt. Two outfits that can be increased by the various blouses I own to go with it. Said blouses must be button up, which are hard to find if I don't want to be showing off more than I ought. Which I don't! Still, only two choices to go with the jacket are not as exciting as four. I discovered a 3rd skirt that not only goes well with the suit jacket, but also adds a bit of flirty and fun to the outfit. OK. So it's my favorite skirt. And I love the outfit!!!

Especially as I discovered the first use of a blouse that my sister-in-law gave me a few months back. (Camisole to the rescue!) I was doubting I would find a use. I'm thrilled that this has worked, and now hope to find at least one if not two more outfits to fit the blouse so I can feel better about letting it reside in my closet. I'm happy that my clothes make me happy. And I have my wonderful parents to thank for "giving" me someone who could teach me what would work with my personality, budget, resources, style, and profession.

What joys do you have about your clothes and outfits...(oh, all right!) and shoes? :-)

Monday, January 4, 2010

I Love to See...

Day 4

There is one thing which I could not pass this day over without acknowledging my joy and gratitude for. Although, it's a lot of things that are all related into one:

The Temple.

Temple covenants. Temple blessings. Temple promises. Temple Work (and workers!). Each one even more special to me because I am blessed to take full part of these covenants blessings, promises, and work. Today marks 8 years since I was blessed to receive my endowment. It is hard to explain how defining and life-changing an experience that is, and how it makes my life what it is as I try to live and keep my temple covenants. This is one of my favorite anniversaries, because it means the most to me.

What anniversaries are special to you and bring you joy? Or, if you have been blessed with your own temple endowment, what joys has this brought you in your life?

Sunday, January 3, 2010

A Little Thing

Day 3

Sometimes it's the little, dare I say even worldy, things that bring a little bit of delight. But as long as it is a little bit of delight and naught of vanity, I think I'm all right. Tomorrow is my 8th Temple Anniversary. As I looked in my closet of few Sunday clothes, I realized my even more limited winter Sunday wardrobe is rather dark in color. I like dark colors. I love black. Plus I've been told I look really good in black.

But black just didn't seem right. As much as I love that dress, I didn't want to wear all black on a 30-degree (somewhere in the teens with the wind chill) at the start of a new year. I was just too happy in this brand new year, and on the eve of my anniversary, and I wanted to show it.

So I wore my Easter dress. It's one whose colors make it more of a spring/summer dress. But sometimes I joy in defying conventions and I chose this dress that I always feel so cute and feminine in. I receive a comment here or there from friends when I wear it. Today, I received so many positive comments and compliments--from females of all ages within 3 different church units/congregations. Actually, I think there may have been the rare male compliment of "you look nice today" somewhere. But it was so nice that people said I looked good, because it matched that I felt good. Well, OK. I felt great. But we can ignore that irrelevant difference.

Saturday, January 2, 2010

The Warmth of the Season

Day 2

I love cold weather. Not that I want to live where it is cold all the time. But I love living in places with 4 distinct seasons. What is so great about winter? In my lifetime, I have seen the cold bring the family home again. It's great to run around and play outside. But it's also nice to come close together on a cold afternoon or evening to talk, play games, or just...be together. The falling snow is a singular beauty in sight and sound. Food tastes better on a cold day. The warmth and glow of a fire is enchanting. Snuggling into blankets brings feelings of comfort and security.

Obviously I wouldn't be as grateful for the cold if I didn't have the blessings of warmth, provisions, shelter, and family. But my focus today is on the winter. Most of my life I have had to live where winter was a prominent weather change. And instead of being miserable and unhappy with it, I've learned to find the positive from it. And not just find the positive, but to love it. I also learn from it, because I cannot help seeing the spiritual analogies of it. And that's what makes the love complete.

What are your joys and gratitudes of winter?

Friday, January 1, 2010


Joy and Gratitude Every Day!

I am going to try every day to focus on something that gives me joy and/or that I want to express my gratitude for. It's to go along with having more of the Attitude of Gratitude as well as help this wonderful, newfound happiness abiding within me become a lasting joy.

Day 1

I ran a race today. My first race in the winter, and a great way to start the new year. It wasn't too cold, which was nice. It was a lovely race in terms of weather and the cloud-watching I was able to do. Having not run in 2 months, you can guess that my lungs were in a lot of pain as I ran, and have been a bit sore since. And being a street race, my knees are in a little pain, too. But I am so grateful for every morning I wake up. When I can stand on my own. Walk without help.

And run. Run because my physical disabilities are not enough to stop me. Run because I love the feelings of accomplishment, ability, strength, and peace. Run simply because I want to, and because I can. It does not matter that I am not good at it. What matters is that it's something that gives me enjoyment and that I am blessed to be able to do.

I love it!