This week we made dinner for the missionaries. The power went out 45 minutes before they were to arrive. We started the meal outside on the big propane burners. Not my favorite way to cook, but it will do. We ended cooking the meal in the kitchen... on the stove... like normal people do because the power was restored.
My thankful for Friday? Good food and modern appliances, kitchen tools, etc. I'm grateful to live in a time when even the worst ovens are still more reliable and consistent than the options that were once available. I'm grateful to have the things that I need in order to easily prepare good food for my family. What a blessing! I am also grateful for full propane tanks and the big burners I can on. Without them it would have been a cold dinner indeed.
This week we ran out of TP. As child number 4 used her cell phone to call the house phone for someone to bring her TP, I had to laugh at how things have changed. It wasn't that long ago that the same child was in tears because no one heard her chanting "I NEED TOILET PAPER!" for 30 minutes. I also remembered the times growing up when I would have to run across the yard from my "bedroom" to the house to use the bathroom in the house. Sometimes you couldn't wait that long. The cold air hitting you seemed to have the ability to shock the pee right out of you. Funny thing is my mom's current garden now sits where we would pee because we couldn't make it to the bedroom. LOL.
My thankful for Saturday? A working, cozy bathroom with a toilet and toilet paper.
Today is Fast Sunday. I have tons of things on my mind... too many to list out and sometimes the list is a bit overwhelming. I feel blessed that I started the day feeling strongly the Spirit of the Lord. I was able to feel the Spirit as I walked up the street to the church building with my husband. I felt the Spirit as I sat and listened to the prelude music and quietly greeted people at church. I felt the Spirit as I took the sacrament and contemplated the Atonement, the Savior, and the symbolism that I find in the ordinance of the Sacrament. I felt the Spirit as the little children, parents, and friends bore witness of the gospel truths and their love for the Savior, Jesus Christ.
Sadly, I couldn't see people's faces. Just over a month ago, my glasses broke. A lens fell out at a football game. I haven't gone to get new glasses because we don't have the money for them. (Not that I don't work hard and that my husband doesn't work hard. We do. It just seems that much of the work I do turns out to be for free. I'm trying to see that as God needs me to bless someone else, but it doesn't help me get glasses for myself any faster. Sorry. I regress). Not having a pair for glasses is making it difficult to see far away and is causing bad headaches for me that turn to near migraine levels by the end of the day. I've been wearing my prescription sunglasses everywhere, even at night, but it just didn't seem right to channel Ray Charles at church. Thus, while sitting in my usual, nearly at the back of the chapel seat, I couldn't see who was speaking.
I am thankful for the Spirit of the Lord that helped me to see clearly. Even though I couldn't see their faces, I could "see" their love for God. I could "see" their testimonies. In some ways, I could "see" their hearts. It occurred to me that my glasses were like putting on the Spirit. The Spirit helps me to "see" things of God more clearly.
The Spirit helped me to "see" that many of the testimonies shared today were addressed to me (sorry to the rest of the folks there). The Spirit helped me to "see" plainly and clearly that God does know what weighs heavily on our hearts and that He is sad that we feel sadness, frustration, loneliness and despair, but if we are patient things will be better and will be made clear.
Then my mind drifted to yesterday... the baptism of a little girl we know. The speaker that shared thoughts about the Holy Ghost brought a dove to help illustrate the story of Jesus being baptised and the the Holy Ghost coming in the form of a dove.
I have never seen a dove before. I always thought they were like pigeons, gray, fat, and annoying with beady little eyes. This dove was beautiful. It was soft and pure white. It was delicate and yet strong.
The women explained that she often wondered why the Holy Ghost would be represented by a dove. She thought it must be because they are white, representing purity. They mostly make quiet soothing sounds, but they can make a loud noise if they need to be heard. As she was talking the bird took flight.
First of all, it was shocking to see a bird flying around in a church building, Then, I was stuck with how peaceful and freeing it was to watch the bird soar around the room. I was reminded that the Holy Ghost helps us to soar too. It is the Spirit that sets us free.
The bird glided down and landed on the piano next to me. The little girl that owned the bird quietly walked over and gently picked up the bird. The bird seemed to love her and willingly went with her. I think the Spirit feels the same way. I'm sure that the Spirit loves us and wants to be with us. I'm sure that the Spirit loves it when we gently pick Him up and take him with us.
So, today, I am grateful for testimony meeting. I am thankful for the clarity that comes when we put on the calming influence of the Spirit. I am thankful for the little girl that shared her testimony that God knows when we have nightmares and that the Spirit will remind us to keep our shield of faith. I am grateful for the brother that stood up and reminded me that God knows of our heart break when loved ones fall away, but that He also expects us to not give up on them. He will lead them back. I am grateful for a daughter who shared her testimony of trusting in God when times are hard and the daughter who wanted to share her love for Christ, but got scared and needed someone to stand beside her. I am thankful for my husband who stood up and stood with her to give her courage. I am grateful for a dear friend, that although she did not stand and speak, showed her testimony in the dignified way she loving she greeted people today, even after announcing personal devastating news this week. I am grateful for those who shared publicly, and those who shared silently in the way they choose to live.
Today I am grateful for testimony.