Monday, 5 October 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.

Of course you know a lot of this will be about conference.  I believe it was the best yet, but then again . . .  I always say that!

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This is our beloved Prophet, Thomas S Monson.   Over the years I have come to love him and to feel of his love for myself and indeed all people.   Not just people in the church.  This man loves everyone.  He has a tender heart and has always had willing arms and a desire to serve others.  It has shown through every aspect of his life.  He truly is an amazing person, but he would be the first one to tell you that he is just an ordinary man called to an extraordinary role in life.  If you ever get a chance to read it, the autobiography on his life is really fascinating and a great read.  It's called "To the Rescue."   He is 88 years old now and has been a widower for about 2 1/2 years now and still serves us unfailingly.   I think I noticed in the April conference of this year that he seemed to be a lot weaker than he had in the past.  He spoke to us yesterday morning in an amazing talk that was probably my favourite of the whole conference, but then again I know I say that about all of the talks.

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As the world moves further and further away from the principles and guidelines given to us by a loving Heavenly Father, we will stand out from the crowd because we’re different. … These things which make us different from most of the world also provide us with that light and that spirit which will shine in an increasingly dark world.

His talk at the Sunday morning session began really well, and I could feel the faith of his convictions piercing my heart through the television screen.    His voice was strong and unfaltering.  But then  . . .  towards the end of his talk it became fairly obvious this great man was weakening as he began to lean on the pulpit and his voice began to fade somewhat . . .   but he went on and finished his talk and then was helped away from the pulpit to sit back down.  This talk was amazing.  Truly amazing.  You really should listen to it or read it.   Here is the link.

It was the first time that I can remember actually praying for someone while they were at the pulpit so that they would have the strength to endure until the end of their talk. As I watched this man . . . this great man . . .  struggle through the last half of his message, tears came to my eyes. For me, it was as if the words he was speaking were not as important as the example of what I was actually witnessing.   In that moment, it was as if his spirit was speaking directly to mine in a very profound way, teaching me something which I could never have learned had I not been watching and listening with my heart.

Why do I love this man so very much?? I love him because he is and has always been a great example to me and to all people in his selfless desire to serve others, even in these his last years of life . . . a time when so many people just long for an easy chair to sit in.  Oh how I wanted to be able to offer him my shoulder to lean upon as I saw him leaning down on the pulpit.  This man is an incredible example and light to us all.   He inspires me want to be an even better me.  Please keep him in your prayers.


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Working on gruesome, yet delicious recipes for Halloween, and feeling as if my zen for cooking and trying new things has not dimmed despite my recent diagnosis.  Cooking and experimenting with cooking has always been exciting to me and I'm happy to say it still is.  May it be ever so.


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This is a photo of my mom playing a game at my daughter's wedding shower I held three summers ago now.   She turned 80 that summer and her life has changed eons since then.  I so enjoy my Sunday afternoon conversations with her and I am so grateful for my sister who cares for both my parents so lovingly.  I know it is at times a very difficult job.   As I sat and pondered things yesterday I was reminded of the many special services my mother has given me through the years.

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Who I am, I owe largely in part to my mother, and to the fine example which she set for us throughout all of the years of our lives.   She was not perfect, of course  . . .  none of us are, but she has gone above and beyond for me time and time again throughout my lifetime, in a multitude of special and meaningful ways.  I don't think she will ever know just how very much she has done for me, and I will never ever be able to repay her in this life or in the next for all of her love and her care.   Stubborn and obstinate at times . . .  yes . . .  opinionated and sharp tongued at others . . .  there is nothing this woman would not do for any one of her children.  I am so very grateful for all that she has ever done for me, and continues to do for me.   She prays for me daily, and I know this.   The prayers of a mother are some of the strongest ever.  I am grateful for her prayers and for her faith in me.  I am grateful for her unfaltering love for me . . .  and I am very grateful that she is still here for me and that I can call her each Sunday (and indeed whenever I need to) and hear her voice and talk with her.  This is a special blessing to me.

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The sunshine which shone down on us brilliantly all of last week.   Indeed it was nicer than it had been all summer.  I believe this was our Indian Summer because this morning has dawned cold and windy and rainy, and I am bemoaning the fact that we did not get our gas bottle filled for the heater in the bathroom at the weekend.  It will be cold in there this morning.  Brrr . . .  we best get it filled today.   The bathroom is always the coldest room in the house, despite having a radiator in it.  It is never truly warm in there and so last year we bought a portable gas heater to use in there.   For when we are getting out of the shower.  Yes, we are wimps.   I think of the big house when I worked there and how they had heated towel rails.  Oh how nice to be able to wrap yourself up in a warm towel after coming out of the shower. I may not have heated towel rails . . .  but I can at least have a warm bathroom.

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Yankee Candle Wax Tarts and a husband who doesn't bat an eyelid when I ask him to pick me up a new one or two while he is in town.   I love these things and the cosy way they make our home smell.  I needed a new one the other day and Todd was going in to town and so I showed him what I wanted and he picked it up.   He met Ariana and Jose on the bus on the way home.  They were on their way to their new house (just around the corner from us) that they are getting ready to move in to, and so they stopped by on their way.  Ariana said to Jose, he needs to take lessons from Todd.  He buys me new candles when I need them, and nice smelling ones.  haha

Speaking of Todd he is not feeling very well this morning.  He woke up with a sore throat yesterday morning and he was up all night with it last night.  He is hardly ever sick.   He'll be trying to get in to see the Doctors this morning.   I hope he can get it sorted.   I hate him not being well.

And with that I will leave you with a thought for today  . . .

❥✻❥.¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥
And  in the end,
if you have not 
chosen Jesus Christ,
it will not matter what
you have chosen.
~Neal A Maxwell
❥✻❥.¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥¸¸.✿¨¯`❥✻❥





In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Toffee Apples with Vanilla Mascarpone.


I hope your week gets off to a good start, and that the days ahead of you are filled with a ton of small and wonderful things . . . Don't forget!

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And I do too!!



7 comments:

Suze said...

Good Morning Marie,

I hope that Todd is feeling better soon. It is not nice to see our loved ones suffer. I am also glad you enjoyed the conference.

I have had a busy day. It was most unusual as I saw both girls with their boyfriends and then Will brought his best friend over. Mr J has been cheffing on a private island on the Barrier Reef. I have missed his face. It was so good to see my seonc son. He was most polite and gave me a huge hug. So for one afternoon our house buzzed with young people. Then after everyone left Pip, Mr C (her boyfriend) and I sat and coloured together. Mr C also helped me prepare a huge pot of spaghetti sauce. It is dinner time now and only mum and I are here. So Ihave two meals to pop aside for later.

God bless.

Marie Rayner said...

Hi Suzan. Todd went to the Doctor first thing and has a severe throat infection and has been given anti-biotics for it. He's in bed now and I am hoping that he soon starts to feel better. Lots of soft food for him for the next few days. Glad you were able to see your two girls bf's and your son's friend as well. Sounds like a great day! xoxo

I'm mostly known as 'MA' said...

Glad the doctor was seen. With the antibiotics taken, he should feel much better by tomorrow. Hope you stay warm and don't catch it too.

La Table De Nana said...

Hope he feels better soon Marie..yes a gift to talk to your mama:)
Have a beautiful day.

Marie Rayner said...

He is on a very strong dose of anti-biotics and for 12 days as well Pam, so I am really hoping he is going to feel better tomorrow Pam! I also hope that I don't get it! xoxo

Thanks Monique! You have a beautiful day as well! xoxo

Valerie H. said...

Aww, I hope Todd gets well soon! That was nice of him to buy some Yankee Candle Wax Tarts for you. So funny that you showed a picture of them...I've been using mine all weekend and today. I even have the Christmas Cookie one that I see in your picture. Haa! I actually won the warmer and 3 tarts at someone's birthday party. I love it. Glad you liked Conference. It's was wonderful as always! :-) Love ya! xoxo

Marie Rayner said...

I hope he feels better soon too Valerie! You know what it's like to have a sick man about the house. No fun! Lotsa work! (But I do love doing it.) I love all of the cinnamony/spicey/apply/autumny wax tarts! My favourite scents! I was given my warmer as a gift! Love you too! xoxo