Friday, 17 August 2012
Friday thoughts . . .
There is a special joy and fulfillment that can never be found in human applause. I am not disputing that being honored and rewarded for your achievements with that type of recognition . . . feels quite nice, but it is a feeling that is fleeting and soon gone. The deepest satisfaction that I feel, comes not from human recognition for anything I may have done . . . but has been found in the faith I have to work and build and love for a far greater purpose than my own.
In one of my old church Wards, there was an older single woman, who had never been married. She was a teacher of special needs children . . . children that had disabilities so severe that they were extremely challenging to work with. One of the children that she cared for through the years held a special place in her heart. His family had abandoned him completely. They never saw him, or even inquired about him. Eventually she adopted him, and he became hers to love and care for. This man was profoundly disabled. He was unable to eat or breathe on his own, having to rely on a machine to both of those things for himself. He wasn't able to really communicate with anyone in any meaningful way . . . not that I could see . . . yet, this woman brought him faithfully with her to church each Sunday, and you could tell that he loved being there . . . you could tell that he loved her.
Through the weeks as I observed her ministering to him in a completely unselfish and simple way, her acts of love and courage deeply moved me. I was inspired by the silent sacrifice her love made for him, without ever drawing attention to itself. On one particular Sunday I witnessed a look between them that touched my heart in such a profound way that it left no doubt in my heart that theirs was a very special relationship indeed, and that . . . while the world would have found it very difficult to see the warmth and the fulfillment that a relationship like this might bring . . . the rewards of such a service and love were worth more than anyone could ever possibly imagine.
Over and over again through the years my heart has been touched . . . melted and inspired by the sight of a loved one sitting patiently by the bedside of a partner who can no longer care for themselves, by daughters who lovingly care for their elderly parents . . . by wives who sit and read to husbands who can no longer see . . . by people who mininster to the needs of a dying spouse in very loving and kind ways, when . . . I know their own hearts must be breaking . . .
Through my tears and my aching heart, I want to stand and applaud the beauty of their sacrifice, so selflessly given . . . to be witness to such love and service with eyes that see and understand it, is a beautiful gift that I am ever grateful for. There are some who would give this service . . . seeking applause and honor . . . but my applause and honor goes to those who do so without thought for themselves, quite simply doing so out of love and compassion for their fellow beings. I am fully convinced that invisibility is where the true beauty of compassionate service lies and it is a gift given only to it's choicest servants when they are really serious about serving . . .
“God knows that some of the greatest souls who have ever lived are those who will never appear in the chronicles of history. They are the blessed, humble souls who emulate the Savior’s example and spend the days of their lives doing good.”
~President Dieter F Uchtdorf
My latest Christmas Card Design. I did this yesterday afternoon. Believe it or not . . . I painted it with my thumb. The snowflakes and word were added afterwards digitally, and the bunnies were stamped. All done on a bit of scrap watercolour paper, and I actually quite like how it turned out.
Another illustration for my Christmas Cookbooklet I am working on.
This time Christmas Teatowels, a bowl, rolling pin . . .
Holly border for the same booklet.
Christmas lights, again for the same booklet. I am really enjoying putting this latest cookbooklet together. I can't wait to see it when it's done and I'm the one creating it! I think that is all part and parcel of the magic of creation . . . even the creator marvels at the process and has pinch me moments!
I wonder if that is how our Heavenly Father felt when He was creating the earth and us and everything on it . . . what an awesome thought!
Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Spinach, Chorizo and Ricotta Frittata!
“ Write on your heart that every day is the best day of the year. ”
- R.W. Emerson