Monday, 2 February 2015

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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The first Sacrament Meeting (which is what we call our worship service) of every month is a Fast and Testimony Meeting.    As Latter Day Saints we are asked to fast on the first Sunday of every month and donate the money we might have spent on meals as a Fast Offering which goes into the Welfare pot of the church and is then used to help members in need.   Once the sacrament has been blessed and passed, the remainder of the service is given over to the bearing of Testimonies.   I love Fast and Testimony Meeting.  I love hearing how the Lord has made manifest His power and love in other's lives during the previous month . . .  about how the Gospel has changed people's lives . . .  about the love that others have for the Saviour . . .  and about the Love He has for them . . .  about the tender mercies of our Heavenly Father and our Lord.  There is a young man with Downs Syndrome who bears his testimony each month and whilst it may be difficult to understand some of what he says . . .  one cannot ever mistake some of the words he shares . . .  Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, Love  . . . the Holy Spirit always testifies to me of the deep love this young man has for the Gospel and for his Saviour.   Yesterday another man bore his testimony.   This young man . . .  he must be only in his thirties perhaps, but he has had multiple strokes and is severely disabled mobility wise, and with his speech.   His carer helped him to the front and his testimony was really powerful, even if he could only get out a few words.   This man's favourite coin of phrase is "Happy days."   Despite all the challenges he has had to meet in his life, he has plenty of joy in his life . . .  and a great deal of that comes from living the Gospel of Jesus Christ.   I was tremendously touched by his testimony and indeed all of the testimonies which were borne.  I always am.

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I just love my brain and how it works.   As we were waiting for Relief Society to begin yesterday, a few of us older women were talking about the shoes the younger women were able to wear without any problems, ie.  High Heels and I mean really HIGH heels.   Anyways, one of the ladies said she could only wear a certain type of sandle, which was made from carved wood, blah blah blah   And we all sat there trying to think of what they were called.   We all knew what they were called, but none of us could get the name of them out.   Last night about fiveish when I was watching Songs of Praise on the BBC . . .  the name came to me.   Birkenstocks.  hahaha  I had to immediately text Jill and let her know what they were called.   Of course she laughed too.   If you ever see a row of older women sitting in church with a perplexed look on their faces  . . .  know that they are probably trying to find a word which they have collectively forgotten.  Know also that several hours later their faces will also collectively be seen to be having a Eureka moment as the word they were trying to find eventually dawns on them!

Note -  This may sometimes take more than several hours.  I have been known to sit up in bed with a word on my lips in the middle of the night.   A huge sigh of relief is then pronounced.  

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This is a photograph of my mom playing at game at my daughter Eileen's wedding shower a few summers ago.  She is in deep concentration.   I am grateful for the opportunity I have each Sunday to call her on the telephone and speak with her.   Those hours are a blessing to me.

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I also get to speak to my father each week at the same time.  I love my parents.   They mean the world to me.  I wish I did not have to live so far away from them, but as I do I am so very grateful for modern technology which means I can be instantly in touch with them both verbally and visually . . .  although the latter doesn't happen very often at all.  I would call them every day, but I think my mother would see that as a huge intrusion.  A creature of habit (aren't we all!) she has everything planned out in her life and daily phone calls are not a part of that.

My mother's toes have never completely healed since her cancer surgery two years ago and all of the complications she went through afterwards.   She is going to see the specialist today.  Please pray that the weather is good enough that they are able to drive there and back in safety and that the appointment goes well.   Thank you so much!

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This is my brother.   Again a photograph which was taken at Eileen's wedding.  I don't think I show my gratitude for my brother enough. My brother is five years younger than I am.  He's always tried to take care of my sister and I.  I am grateful for his love and I know that he has prayed for me many times through the years.  We have shared many special moments together.  I love my brother with all of my heart.  He is very special to me.   I think I need to show him that more than I do.  I don't generally make New Years Resolutions, but I think this year I will show my brother more how very much he means to me.

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I would be remiss not to mention my sister in all of this.   Although we don't see entirely eye to eye on things all of the time, we do love each other deeply and truly care for each other.   She is my best friend and always has been . . . she means the world to me.

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At the end of the day we are a family.   Family is everything.   Your mother and father . . .  your siblings . . .  these special people share something with you that you share with nobody else on earth.   We share a history that began with our first moment's breath of life.  Nobody else can share that with you in quite the same way.  It's a precious relationship and is unique to each individual and each experience.

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 I love each member of my family very much and am grateful that they are in my lives.   Truly.  We may grow up and have other relationships and other lives . . .  we may live thousands of miles apart . . .  we may celebrate different faiths and ideas . . .  but we are joined by strings of the heart that are woven into a tapestry of love and respect . . .  an unbreakable bond which has stood the test of time and distance. 

Nobody will ever "get" you in the way that family does.

And that's my small and wonderful things for this week.  I have many other things and people in my life that I am also grateful for, but just wanted to share these things today.

A thought to carry with you as you go about your day . . .


The Gospel is not weight.
It is wings.
It carries us.
~Jean A Stevens

Will the ground hog see his shadow today?  I hope not! 

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Cooking in The English Kitchen today . . .  The Ultimate Sausage Breakfast Sarnie.

Happy Monday!  I hope it gets your week off to a very good start!  Don't forget.

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And I do too!


  1. I would certainly not have known that name for the shoes with wooden soles Marie. My first thought was "clogs" !! You are so right in cherishing your family as the last one of my immediate family left now I know how alone I is a real strange feeling, ...perhaps it is just me....Looking at teh photo of your brother I could see that you both share the same eyes...Hope that you are wrapped up warm this morning. I is a real frosty cold one. As it is Monday my pal Pam will be over, bless her she is going to do a pile of ironing for Mary and me for our holidays...she loves ironing !! ( I think she must be mad LOL )
    Have a lovely day xx PS Your metion of groundhog day reminded me that it is Candlemas day so as it is clear and bright it means more winter weather will be the forescast Yuck

  2. Mum plays the lost word game with me a lot. Generally we are driving somewhere and she can't find a I am asked. It often takes longer to figure out what she means and I become cross if i can't figure it.

    Inadvertently we are having home evening. Will and Pip are most entertaining. Beth is not home. Sadly she and I have had a number of disagreements over the weekend. She was amazingly rude to me, Oh well i hope we mend.

    God bless.

  3. You are lucky to have your family:)

    Happy for you:)

    Yes you are so right..On the beach we were talking about Andy Williams..and I mentioned his first wife..I had her name on the tip of my one could remember..I walked into our unit and tada!

  4. Family is a blessing for sure ! They do seem to fill my days with happiness. Here we are trying to recover from a major snow storm. I can say I'm officially worn out with winter snow shoveling. I could hardly lift the shovel on my last round of it yesterday and still have more to do today. I'm just trying to work up the steam to go out and do it again.

  5. I don't mind ironing Sybil. I love the smell of the hot clothing beneath the iron and the steam, especially if the laundry has been hung outside. To me it is better than perfume. It's very cold here today also! xoxo

    I am sorry Beth was rude to you Suzan. One day she will come to appreciate you more. I know this to be true. I am glad you are having a nice evening with the rest of the family! xoxo

    I am glad I am not the only one with a memory like a sieve at times Monique! I think it is a common complaint!! xoxo

    They are doing a lot of shoveling back home as well Pam! I wish you had someone to help you. What a lot of heavy work. Don't over do it! xoxo

  6. That was a nice tribute to your family Marie. Thanks for sharing.


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