Monday, December 17, 2007

Books on CD Recommendations

Hey friends. We are driving to visit family for Christmas and are looking for good books on CD to listen to in the car. If you've read or listened to any book books lately, will you post your recommendations for me! Thanks!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Baby Jesus is Missing!

This year when we set up our Nativity, we realized that the baby Jesus was missing. We've looked all through our Christmas boxes full of lights and bells and books and ornaments and stuffed snowmen and stockings. Last night as I lay in bed unable to sleep, I was thinking about the missing figure. In that moment I saw a profound truth about how I have treated this Christmas season.

I've busied myself with putting up and decorating the tree. I've dedicated time to making cookies, tons and tons of cookies. I've shopped for and made presents. I've been to parties, decorated for parties, cleaned up parties. I've listened to countless hours of Christmas music. I've spent many hours practicing musical numbers for Christmas parties, firesides, and sacrament meeting (as well as for my own pleasure). I've read The Story of Christmas boardbook to A about a hundred times. I've even helped organize a large Christmas serivce project for our youth and prepared a food basket for a family in need.

But, when I stopped to think about it last night. I realized that maybe the baby Jesus was missing, and not just from his little resin manger under my Christmas tree! Each of the things I've been doing have been good, fun, traditional, and many have been service oriented. I've mostly done these things out of the spirit of giving and love. But I've been so busy doing these things, I forgot to take care of my year-round relationship with my Savior--which is what will, at the end of the day, be what gets me through every other thing.

So, here's my resolve! I still can't find baby Jesus to put in his tiny manger, but I know the place he keeps in my life and commit to finding Him anew everyday in the scriptures, my personal prayers and relationship with my family and friends.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

What We Do When We are Tired

After a super fun evening out with some of my girl friends, I ran over to Wal-Mart to get a few things. It was nearly 11:30 pm when I started home. I knew I was tired and thought it would be a good idea to get a little something to munch on in the car to help keep me awake on the drive home. So, I bought a bag of mint flavored M&Ms, which I love, love, love and you can only find at Christmas time.

After checking out, I made a mad dash to the car in the cold, fished around for the bag of M&Ms, threw my bags in the back seat, and took off for home. In the dark of my car I fumbled around to open the bag and pulled out a few. They were shaped like little moons. How odd, I thought, for a Christmas candy to take on such a shape. But it was dark and I was tired. I popped one into my mouth, fully expecting a tiny crunch of red or green candy coating and then the sweet, minty goodness of the chocolate to cover my mouth. Instead when I bit down, all I got was a hard bite and a bland taste of nothing.

Suddenly I remembered I had bought a bag of dried red kidney beans, and in my tiredness and haste to get home , I had just opened a bag of hard-as-rock red beans instead of my velvety smoothness of mint M&Ms. Arrgggg!

In the end the M&Ms did keep me awake on the way home; all of I could think of was how silly I had been and how much I couln't wait to get home to break open my green and red rounds of rich mint chocolate.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Overcoming the Crazies through Gratitude

So, this week I sort of turned into crazy mom. On Saturday in particular I think I went nuts. I spent most of the morning pouring out tears of frustration over my little son, who was in turn, crying because I had gotten so upset with him several times.

Last night I decided I'd had enough and knelt down to pray (for about the millionth time yesterday as I tried to regain my composure every ten or fifteen minutes all day). I absent mindedly started counting my blessing and soon found myself in the depths of a heartfelt thankful session and discussion with my Heavenly Father over what has been going on in my life. I made a plan. I gave thanks. I feel so much better.

I've noticed lots of thankful lists on other people's blogs this past week. Thanks to all of you for sharing your gratitude. It really is contagious and has helped me feel a desire to think more about what I have been given!

Here are some things I've been thinking about and for which I have felt greatful lately:

My son
My husband
My family far away
My friends near and far
My testimony of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ
My current temple recommend and the oportunity to use it every month
My warm home
My kind neighbors who gave us tons of firewood
My young women in my Beehive class
My talents (sorry to those of you who had to suffer through my terrible rendition of Christmas songs in sacrament meeting today; Christmas songs really are the hardest on the organ)
My cupboards that are full of food
My basement that is full of food storage
My visiting teaching assignments and the lessons I learn each month about pure religion
My new home teachers
My husband's willingness to bless the lives of others through the priesthood which he holds
My body and my physical health
My connection to the outside world through the internet and my phone
BYUTV (which I love to watch online when I'm making dinner or just need a happy pick me up)
My Savior, Jesus Christ
My goal to finish the Book of Mormon by the end of the year--it gives my study purpose
My life in general