Saturday, December 31, 2011

The Epiphany of 2011

So I had an epiphany last year . . . about three months into the new year.

So it was too late for me to start for 2011.

And much, much too late for me to start at the beginning of our family because our oldest is currently teen-age and all.

BUT, the most fabulous thing is that even after I aged almost 12 months
since the epiphany, I still remembered!

And so I'll share!

This year I've made up a two-sided form for each person to fill out.

So it's more than just a resolution list or a prediction list.

So after it's all filled out by everyone, I will tuck them away until next year . . .

And save them from here on out.

Then, in five or ten or fifteen years (when our youngest becomes teen-age and all), all the things we wrote down will be a treasure!!!

Think important Family History Information!

On one side the form has the following things to fill out:
Name and AgeHeight and Weight (not so important to adults, but very important for my children)
Ecclesiastical Leaders/Church responsibilities
Grade and teacher(s)
Favorite/Least School Subjects
Favorite Food
Favorite Color
Favorite Movie
Favorite Day of the Week
Pet Peeves
Things that bring sadness/happiness
What I want to be when I grow up
A place I'd like to visit
Some things about me
Next year on New Year's Eve 2012, I want to say that I accomplished . . .
In five years, I will be _______ years old and here's what I will be doing . . .
The best things that happened to me in 2011 . . .
Some memories I have of this year . . .

The other side it is divided into two columns.

One column had general information like the President of the United States, the President of the Church, Governor of the State. It also has information about current events and also a small list of what things cost. Things like a gallon of gas, a loaf of bread, a postal stamp (because they are going up next month!!!) and a gallon of milk. And finally, some fun facts about what each family member is into these days: music, basketball, eating chocolate bon-bons (oops, did I totally give mine away??)

The other column is titled "2012 Predictions" for each member of the family to fill out. And the sky's the limit on that! That should be fun and interesting to go over come next New Year's Eve 2012!

And there it is - my epiphany which I happily share with you on this, the very last day of 2011.


Friday, December 30, 2011

New Year's Adam

I've been thinking about Adam and Eve.

Because if tomorrow's New Year's Eve, tonight is New Year's Adam . . .

But seriously folks, I really have been thinking about Adam and Eve

And their relationship.

One of the things I have pondered is Adam's willingness to eat of the fruit only after knowing Eve had partaken of it.

He didn't have to eat it.

He could have easily said, "Eve, how much I loved you and how much you've disappointed me! I didn't come into this covenant marriage to marry myself a sinner. But it looks like I have!! And frankly, honey, I can't go on like this with you blatantly disobeying and breaking Father's commandments. You know, the important one where we couldn't eat from the fruit of that tree. So, Eve, you go on your merry little way, off into the wild blue yonder where I hear it is terrible and lonely, and I'll stay put. Right here. Right here in this beautiful garden where sinners aren't permitted."

But that is not what Adam did.

And I don't believe it was even close to what he thought, either.

For because of the covenant marriage he and Eve shared, that Adam chose to partake of the fruit to accompany his wife into that wild blue yonder we affectionately call mortality.

And while I am not saying that every husband or wife should stick with their spouse under every, single circumstance of disobedience, I'm under the strong impression that Adam and Eve serve as an example of how a husband and wife can successfully and happily work things out in a covenant marriage.


In this wild blue yonder we affectionately call mortality.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

On Giving and Receiving

This Christmas season taught me about giving . .

And it also taught me a lot about receiving.

For because I come from a looooong ol' line of pure, unadulterated, die-hard givers.

On both sides of my family.

So it wasn't like I was given a dominant render-service-without-expecting-anything-in-return-exclamation-point gene coupled with a hidden recessive it's-important-to-receive-as-well-as-to-give-so-that-the-person-rendering-service-to-you-can-be-blessed-like-you-are-blessed-when-you-render-service-to-others gene.


I got the double whammy of the dominant-dominant "Service to Others Only" gene.

"Take Nada in Return."

And I've been so good at it. . . about taking nada in return, that is.

Because that's wis the legacy of my parents, and my parents' parents, and my parents' parents' parents'.

Givers and Servers they all were.

Not Takers and Receivers.

And here is where this year's Christmas lesson came in for me.

Drum Roll please . . . pah-rum-pah-pum-pum)

There is a reason God wants us to serve others.

He does it because if we didn't think outside of ourselves, we would all be selfish, narcissistic little brats - always thinking of ourselves, constantly feeling sorry for ourselves, finding ways to puff ourselves up yadda, yadda, yadda.

So God, knowing full-well what happens to us in our carnal, natural state, commands us to serve others.

To get out minds off ourselves and our problems and our things.

And place our minds and our hearts in His, by loving and serving His children.

And while we're off doing all we can to obey the commandment to "Do Unto Others," a magnificent transformation occurs.

We start to look outside of ourselves, and feel less sorry for ourselves and more observant of those who are less fortunate than we, and somehow, our nature slowly changes and becomes more like His.

More kind.

More tenderhearted.

More charitable.

And that is where I learned of another commandment.

The one that exhorts us to "Come Unto Him."

Coming unto Christ means, in essence, that we must RECEIVE Him.

And that requires a great deal of humility, especially when "Give" is your mantra and "Receive" is four letter word plus three.

But I'm learning that in how I receive is how I can become even a better giver.

It is first by giving.

And giving some more.

And at times, giving when it seems like there is nothing left to give.

And then, when my heart is sufficiently humble, He then asks others to give unto me.

Which means I can either refuse.

And refusing means I choose not to accept Him.

Or I can receive with a profoundly, broken heart.

Which means I let Him in.

It means I accept Him!

And in this humble receiving I am offered the opportunity to become more like Him.

More kind.

More tenderhearted.

More charitable.

Indeed, I am learning that Christmas is about the giving and about the receiving.

And it lasts all lifetime long.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Tidbit Tuesday - Joy

"Joy is the flag you fly when the Prince of Peace is in residence within your heart."

-Wilfred Peterson