Tuesday, November 20, 2018

60 seconds

Last night I made pizza for dinner since we skipped out on our
traditional weekend pizza night.
 It feels kind of like the weekend for us anyway
since we are out now for Thanksgiving break.
 After dinner we all sat down for Family Home Evening. 
I passed out a piece of paper and gave everyone 60 seconds to
 write down as many things as they could think of to be thankful for.
Here is what we came up with.
Jesus Christ, God, health, shoes, peace, Christ's Atonement & Resurrection,
 toys, mom's homemade pizza, education, America, freedom, talents, experiences,
life, music, trees, prophets, sister Merayo in New Mexico, 
the gospel, The Book of Mormon, world leaders, 
my bed, good food, books, Hannah, seminary, Holy Ghost, house,
internet, forgiveness, repentance, hope, faith, charity, cars, grocery stores,
lotion, medicine, mom's work she does for me, ancestors, the Bible, shoes, mom!!,
President Nelson, the world we live in, cookies, animals, unicorns, rain,
my birthday, Ada and Riggs, Angus, Narwhals, Kevin the cat, church, 
friends, husband, Christmas, family, baby Jesus, 
candles to light our home, and Hygge,
Then we discussed what each of us had written down in that quick 60 seconds,
and found some common topics on all our lists, but their was
one thing we had all written down: Christ.
He is the reason we have a list of things to be grateful for in the first place.
To close my lesson I also read a beautiful scripture in 
The Book of Mormon (Alma 26:37)

"We see that God is mindful of every people, 
whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, 
and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth. Now this is my joy, 
and my great thanksgiving; yea, 
and I will give thanks unto my God forever. Amen.

God, our Heavenly Father, loves all of His children wherever they are,
whatever they do, and whatever they believe. 
Yes, I think He is disappointed when people disrespect Him or disobey 
His commandments, but “God is mindful of every people, 
whatsoever land they may be in; yea, he numbereth his people, 
and his bowels of mercy are over all the earth”
What a beautiful scripture and promise.
I am thankful for those words and for God's unconditional love
for me, and for my children!
Next Monday for our Family Night, Mr. Nielson and 
I will introduce the new Light the World (#LightTheWorld) 
campaign to the Little Nies.
We do this every year and it's a highlight of our Christmas season.
Check out the 2018 LightTheWorld and get ideas to
personalize your own family plan.

Monday, November 19, 2018

And then there were four.

We're dropping like flies over here in the Harlow House.
First Charlotte got a cough followed by runny eyes and earache.
 Nicholas woke up on Friday and complained about a sore throat.
Next thing I know, Oliver is sleeping all day with a high fever.
It's that time of year.
I've been loading the Little Nies up with immune boosters and vitamin C.
I'm hoping to keep any more sickness from creeping into the rest of us.
Yesterday at church a sister in our congregation shared a wonderful quote
by a wonderful Church leader and Apostle, Neal A. Maxwell,
and I keep thinking about it.
 "One’s life, therefore, cannot be both faith-filled and stress-free.
 Can you and I really expect to glide naively through life, as if to say,
 “Lord, give me experience, but not grief, not sorrow, not pain,
 not opposition, not betrayal, and certainly not to be forsaken.
 Keep from me, Lord, all those experiences which made
 Thee what Thou art! Then let me come and dwell 
with Thee and fully share Thy joy!”

It has made me ponder about my trials and tribulations
and how I look at them.
I hope to find gratitude in every single life experience even-
and maybe especially, the hard ones.
Not just gratitude, but a change of heart too.
This time of year is a good time to share our gratitude for
everything we have been so generously given
both the good and the bad, and the joy and the pain.

Tonight for Family Night, I am going to have the Little Nies write
down everything they are thankful for in 60 seconds.
Then we will discuss.
Ever since the accident good health is always near the top of my list.
I am sooooo grateful for a healthy body that has been through soooo
much, but functions and performs beautifully.

Friday, November 16, 2018

Wake up!

Yesterday Mr. Nielson and I went into Lottie's class to talk to her 
classmates about my why we're burned. 
 Last month I was in the class helping out with the Halloween party, 
and there were a few very inquisitive children.  
They wanted to know what happened to me, why my lips were so fat,
 and where the heck my pinkie went.
I had one sweet little girl in particular who was so very curious
 about my accident she couldn't stop commenting about it. 
She didn't mean to be rude, she's only six for crying out loud.
 But it planted a little seed in my head and so I asked
 Lottie's sweet teacher if I could come to class at some point
during the school year.
So yesterday Mr. Nielson and I walked into the classroom 
to a room full of very well-behaved children.
They were sitting on the floor waiting for us to walk in the room
 and when we did they waved to us, and immediately my heart swelled.
Children are so good and kind and innocent.
The seek for truth and look to grown-ups for trust and learning, and 
honestly I felt honored to be there.
I started out asking if the children knew anyone who
 had a disability of any kind. All the kids hands shot up.
 I listened as the students told me stories about their uncle, 
brother, mom, neighbor, or fellow classmate. 
 I even had a student tell me he knew a vegetarian!!!    
We discussed about differences and the importance of
 loving and respecting everyone (even vegetarians!).
At one point I asked Lottie to tell her classmates what I tell her everyday
before school.
The kids turned around and looked at her and she said,
"Wake up?"
Christian and I laughed.
(Lottie is a tough one to get up in the morning.
It's kind of a struggle).
What I really tell her everyday before school
 is to remember that her heart is the most beautiful thing about her and 
if her heart is beautiful, then everything else in her life will follow.

But "wake up!" works too.

Spiritual Enlightenment: "Come unto Me"