Monday, 9 April 2018

Small and Wonderful Things . . .


"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.  

Our back garden is still a quagmire, but the forsythia is in full bloom.  It is such a cheerful sight and I smile every time I look out the window and see it.  Its quite simply breath-takingly beautiful.  I have seen gardens with complete hedges of forsythia. Stunning to say the least. 

Yesterday was our Fast & Testimony meeting at church.  The first Sunday of every month is given over to people bearing their testimonies after the passing of the sacrament is finished.  People are asked to give up two meals and then give the money they would have spent for those two meals as a fast offering to the welfare program in the church. (not required but many do)  This month it was held on the second Sunday because we had General Conference on the first Sunday. I love Fast & Testimony meeting.  I love listening to other people's testimony and also bearing my own.  This month people share a lot about how different conference talks had touched them, which I really enjoyed.  There were even some children who got up and shared. One little girl shared how she and her mum had given some food to a homeless person outside the grocery store at Easter and how good it made her feel to give to people who were in need.  It was just a really nice faith building, inspiring church service, but it always is. 


There were also two baby blessings yesterday morning.  One is special, two are extra special!  I love baby blessings, and what made these even more extraordinary was that they were cousins from the same family and their granddad did the blessings.   

The naming and blessing of a child (commonly called a baby blessing) in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is a non-saving ordinance, usually performed during sacrament meeting soon after a child's birth in fulfillment of the commandment in the Doctrine and Covenants: "Every member of the church of Christ having children is to bring them unto the elders before the church, who are to lay their hands upon them in the name of Jesus Christ, and bless them in his name." The purpose of the practice is twofold: to give a baby an official name and to provide an opportunity to give a blessing for the child's spiritual and physical welfare. To offer the blessing, Melchizedek priesthood holders, often including priesthood leaders, family members and close friends, gather in a circle and hold the child in their arms or place their hands on the child's head if the child is older. One of them performs the blessing.

I love baby blessings.  I think they are a wonderful tradition.  I wish that I had been able to have my children blessed in such a way when they were babies.


I am so, so, so grateful that mum didn't break anything when she fell down the stairs the other day. Falling like that at her age is so dangerous and many break a hip or something when they fall.  She surely had an angel on her shoulder. I always enjoy my conversations with her, even if sometimes there is a bit of a struggle to keep the conversation flowing.  It is just nice to hear her voice. I will admit though that it is also tinged with a measure of sadness, because I don't know how much longer I will have to speak with my mom.  This makes these moments even more precious. I don't like living so far away from her.  Its funny how life turns out.  Its usually not the way you expected it to turn out.  Having been there for my mum throughout almost all of the crisis in her life, I had expected that I would also be there for this part of her life and it pains me that I am not, but I am very grateful that my sister can be. 

Being able to witness and a be part of two young people beginning their married life together.  Weddings are always beautiful occasions.  Here in the UK members of our church cannot get married in the Temple.  We must have a civil or church ceremony first and then travel to the Temple to be sealed together later. In the UK you are only able to be married in a public building or a building that our Queen can enter.  Our Temples are not public places and are very sacred to us.  In some ways this having a civil ceremony first is good because it allows family members who are not church members to be present at the marriage of the young couple, something which they would not be allowed to attend if the couple were getting married in the Temple. 

Impromptu visits from my friend Tina!  I love that she feels comfortable with me that she feels she can stop by whenever.  She is my best friend here and I love her dearly.  She is a transplant by way of South Africa and Australia.  I always feel like I can share anything with her, and I hope she feels the same way. I think she does. I love her to pieces. 

Through the miracle of modern television and DVD Sunday evenings can always be Downton Abbey evenings for us.  We just finished Series three last night. There are some shows that are classics which you don't mind visiting again and again. I still cry at the sad parts even though I have cried at them before.  It is the same with Call The Midwife and Poldark, Larkrise to Candleford, etc.  These Classics never get old.  Kind of like Andy Griffith, Leave it to Beaver and The Waltons.  They etch out a place in our hearts forever. 

Susan Branch 

Having a place to call home.  So many in the world do not, or if they do, it is not a happy place.  I have both.  A happy place, and a place to call home.  God is good. 


Marjolein Bastin

Nesting birds who also have a home-sweet-home in the hedge which surrounds our garden. I cannot wait to see the fledglings later in the year. 

My life is filled to overflowing with goodness and blessings untold.  I am so grateful for a heart that seeks and finds these things and that is always ready to acknowlege where they come from. God is good, even when times are not as good as you would like them to be.  Every day might not be good, but yes, there IS good in every day. 

A thought to carry with you  . . . 

° * 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
•。★★ 。* 。
° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
˚ ˛ •˛• ˚ | 田田 |門 ★

Difficult roads 
often lead to
beautiful destinations.
~unknown  •。★★ 。* 。 



Today's Reading -  Alma 2:1-18 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? How can we counsel together without contention?  
Thoughts - Pride is to do with who's right rather than what's right. And Pride is the father of Contention (yes both deserve a capital letter!). The Nephites could see the bigger picture of how it would effect them. Amlici is thinking only of himself. I think in order to counsel together without contention, each person has to have mutual respect for the other persons opinions. I hear you, you hear me, a conclusion is made, we all stick to it. Amlici didn't get the memo!
Tomorrow's reading - Alma 2:19-38 
Question - What have you learnt from the reading today? What can we learn from Alma, in the face of much opposition? 
In The English Kitchen today  . . .  Home Baked Beans.  A delicious vegetarian version. 
I hope that your week ahead is filled to overflowing with small and wonderful things.  Don't forget along the way that  . . . 
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════ ⊰✿░G░O░D⊰✿⊰L░O░V░E░S⊰✿⊰░Y░O░U░⊰✿
═══════════ ღೋƸ̵̡Ӝ̵̨̄Ʒღೋ ═══════════
and I do too! 



  1. Hi Marie, so pleased everything is ok with your Mum, you're right, she definitely had someone looking after her!

    Glad you enjoyed the wedding, despite the weather!

    My daughter and fiance were home for the weekend as its her birthday today. Things are definitely strained though with all the wedding plans and the house renovation. It is such a stressful time for them when really it should be a happy time. Just praying they come through the other side intact.

    Have a wonderful week, lot's of love xxx

    1. I will be praying for them Kate! Love and hugs to you! xoxo

  2. A post filled with gratitude:) Good news on your mum..♥
    I have to share this feed with you..

    on stories this week..her eldest..was singing a religious song for the healing of a little girl in hospital..Oh Marie you will love this..They are hard working..humble..beautiful..her pics are sweet really..

    1. Thanks so much for that Monique! I am following now. I like good, sweet and humble people. They help to make me believe in a better world. xoxo

  3. Thanks for sharing your beautiful Forsythia. It is a delight to see. Nothing blooming here yet, but this week is to be warmer so maybe soon !

    1. It won't be long Pam! Spring is just around the corner for you I am sure! xoxo

  4. Hi Marie~

    So happy that your mom is okay...she must be a very strong woman!

    Your forsythia is gorgeous! We are just barely in the, trees starting to bud, stage of spring... ;0)

    So many blessings are ours because of the gospel. I also love, Fast and Testimony meeting. We had a two missionaries speak, both sister missionaries; one who just came home from, Australia, and one just leaving for Texas, they both gave beautiful talks. Baby blessings are so wonderful. Even though Bob and I weren't active, we still had our babies blessed, and I'm so grateful we did.

    I did not realize that you couldn't get married in the temple in the UK...where have I been! I agree, there are so many who want to be with their families on that special day. I love weddings!

    Those are some of my favorite British shows...classics for sure. I would watch them over and over again, and yes, cry at the same time every time!

    It is nice to have a place to call home. There are so many displaced souls in the world, who have no place to call home, or the place they call home is not safe, too many places in this world that aren't safe. You are bless...we are blessed! Life is good!

    I think pride might be the downfall for many people and countries...sad but true. Pride and selfishness will take you down, in a hurry.

    Your baked beans look amazing!

    Have a wonderful Wednesday, Marie, love you tons!

    Hugs and Love,

    1. Thanks Barb! I can see a day actually when marriages won't be performed in temples anywhere in the world, but just sealings, with civil ceremonies having to take place first,and not necessarily in LDS chapels. I think there is an agenda out there to force the hand legally of all clergy to marry people of all leanings, no matter what the ethos of the church is. When that day comes I think our church will just stop performing marriages. Thank goodness sealings in the temple are safe from that. Love and hugs. xoxo

    2. PS I hope I am wrong about that. ;-)


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