Monday, 23 September 2013

Small and Wonderful Things . . .

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"The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But who gets excited by a mere penny?...It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won't stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted with pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. what you see is what you get." ~Anne Dillard 

A few of the small and wonderful things which bring untold joy into my life.   It's the small things in life which truly mean the most.  Simple abundance . . . it's the best.

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Our Stake President was at our Sacrament meeting yesterday and in his talk he told us to refer to our Patriarchal Blessings often.   Every person in our church is able to receive this special gift from God.  Each area in the church has a Patriarch, who is a special man called of God to administer these special blessings.  He acts as a channel for God as he places his hands upon your head and gives you this special blessing, which is filled with advice and counsel from above to help us in our lives.   It is recorded and then you get a printed one that you can refer to at any time in your lifetime.  I keep mine in my bedside table.  I was reading it last night as I often do in bed.

"Your children will continue to love and appreciate you as you become an example to them.  For you will become a light on a hill to your family."

That is one of the promises given to me in my blessing.  I often read those few lines and am greatly strengthened by them.  Only a few words, but they are pretty wonderful to me and give me courage and strength to be who I am.

“Your patriarchal blessing is not to be folded neatly and tucked away. It is not to be framed or published. Rather, it is to be read. It is to be loved. It is to be followed. Your patriarchal blessing will see you through the darkest night. It will guide you through life’s dangers.” 
~Thomas S. Monson  

This is a painting I did almost two years ago, based on a talk given by Dieter F Uchtdorf, who is a counselor in the First Presidency of the church.   After I heard this talk, which was so very special to me, I was inspired to do this piece of artwork.  Afterwards Todd told me that I should send a copy of it to President Uchtdorf.  After a bit of hmming and hawwing, we went into town and picked up a frame and then we sent it off to Salt Lake City.   After that I forgot about it really.  That is when I was told I might have Ovarian Cancer and everything else kind of got forgotten in all of the tumult that possibility brought into my life.   It was about a month later when I was waiting on tender hooks for my letter from the hospital when the postman dropped two letters through our mail box one morning.  One was my hospital letter, and the other had the return address of the Office of the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.  Of course I read that one first!!  It was a personal letter of thanks from President Uchtdorf to myself.   I remember laying in bed that night and reading it and crying.

"I commend you on staying faithful to your covenants through times of adversity and discouragement.  God has blessed you, and He is mindful of the desires of your heart."

Those were the two last sentences in his letter to me.   When I read them in 2011, I knew that everything would be ok.  This was an Apostle of the Lord telling me these things and they meant the world to me then, and mean the world to me now.  The gentle assurance from a man of God to me, reminding me that my Heavenly Father knows, loves and is mindful of me.

Just a few words on a page . . . but wonderful, comforting, reassuring, inspiring . . . President Uchtdorf had no idea of what I was going through at the time, but my Heavenly Father did and prompted him to write the words that he wrote.   A small and wonderful thing . . .

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A dirty faced Granddaughter.  I love this little girl so very much, as I do all my grandchildren.   I discovered these pictures on FB this morning and so scooped them.   That's how I get all of the pics of my grandchildren.  I am so grateful for modern technology which makes this possible, or I would not know anything about them, or even what they looked like or what they are getting up to in their lives. I live in fear of FB disappearing.  However would I cope then.   I don't even want to think about it.

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Sleepy little grandsons . . . Cameron napping.   I wonder how old he will be when I see him in person.  I can't see me being able to afford to go over to Canada until 2015.   And I am praying hard that I will be able to go over then.   He will be two then, which is about the age I met each of my grandchildren.  It breaks my heart at times that I live so far away.  It wasn't supposed to be this way, but life is what it is.

And this is supposed to be a happy post not a sad post. So onwards!

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My son Bruce and his puppy Baxter and Baxter's cousin, I guess.  I think that is Bruce's Sara's parent's dog.  (Did that make sense!)  Love this photo of our Bruce because he is smiling and it's hard to get a photo of him smiling.  Love all my children.

 I just wanted you all to know, especially my American readers I won't be putting any Downton Abby Spoilers into any of my posts.  I would not want to spoil it for any of you and I know it will be 2014 before you get to see it.   Just be assured I won't spoil it for you!  I promise!

I have an appointment for an EKG this morning so must be off and getting ready to go, so I will leave you with a thought to carry through today . . .

I could give you no advice but this:
to go into yourself
and to explore the depths where
your life wells forth
~ Rainer Maria Rilke  

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . . Easy Pumpkin Butter.   Very tasty!

Have a great Monday!  May your day be filled with lots of small and wonderful things!

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