Lessons

I love this misty picture of our new, old house. Built in 1906.

For the last little while I have not been my best self.

I do put quite a bit of pressure on myself to get things done. I am always trying to do so many things that at the end of the day I usually say, “I didn’t get enough done.” or “I feel like I’ll never get this or that finished.”

So with our move almost 3 years ago, I really struggled with feeling my best. I have depression, and I had just been through one of the biggest changes of my life.

We moved after living in the same house and neighborhood for 18 years. We moved to a smaller house planning for the future and simplifying our lives, which made us empty nesters. I had looked forward to this time, but did not anticipate how hard it would actually be. We had all our kids with us at the other house, including our married son, his wife and our grandbaby, who lived in a little apartment in the basement. We saw them all the time. Our middle two kids had been home from LDS missions for a couple of years, and we had just received our youngest daughter home from her LDS mission in December and moved in March. I still struggle with that, because I wish I’d had more time with her at home before she got married. Now she’s married and lives about 45 minutes away and I usually only see her every other week for Sunday dinner.

FYI. I took the love language test and my love language is time.

So there came a time shortly after the move that I could not stop crying. I have taken medication for depression for many years, but it wasn’t helping this sadness. This sadness, was coming from knowing that my time of being a mom with my children at home was over. I was so lonesome for them. They were raised, and now adults living on their own. My usual routine was completely different.

There were days I couldn’t leave the house. There were days when I didn’t get much done at all. There were also times I felt like my eyes would always be swollen from crying. I practiced saying many positive mantras, lot’s of prayer, focusing on blessings, and the beauty of the world around me, and I think we tweaked my medication.

As I was studying one day, I found a talk by Elder David A. Bednar. In it he talks about spending a Sunday afternoon with one of the other apostles Elder Robert D. Hales as he was recovering from an illness. Elder Bednar asked Elder Hales to share a lesson he had learned through all of his responsibilities as he has grown older and been constrained by decreased physical capacity.

He said,  “When you cannot do what you have always done, then you only do what matters most.”

This was perfect for me especially as I adjusted to my new life as an empty nester, my new routine, neighborhood, and house. I had to be patient with myself. I had to say “No” when people asked me to do this or that, knowing it was too much for me at that time. I am doing much better, now. I still have days that are tough sometimes, but I know that, when I cannot do what I have always done, then I only do what matters most.

I am so grateful for lesson’s!

Gift Wrap Center!

We live in a small home. There is not space in it for a craft room. That is were I would probably put my gift wrap if I had a craft room. I don’t buy a lot of gift wrap, but I like to have a little on hand in case I need it. I do have a hard time throwing it away. Especially if it is something like gift bags, that are made for reusing, and I love to reuse the bows. I have enough, that I wanted to have a special place to keep it that would make using it easy.

So I bought this shelf that looks kinda like a bakers rack, second hand and I had this idea to use it for a place to gift wrap.

A Gift Wrap Center! 

It turned out perfect, and it doesn’t take up too much space!

I have a bin for ribbons and bows, a bin for tissue paper, a bin for gift wrap and boxes, and a bin for gift bags. Then my Darlin put some rods on it to put curling ribbon on. The rolls of gift wrap are on the second to bottom shelf. Now, I know what I have and will be able to make use of it all with my

Gift Wrap Center!

Happy Birthday Nancy!

My mother-in-law’s birthday is today. She would have been 83. What a fun lady!

I miss her so much.

Nancy after having cancer removed from the tip of her nose.

When we were together for the family Christmas party we shared some of our memories of those family members who aren’t with us anymore. I love the idea of getting these stories down for future generations.

I recorded what everyone said on Voice Memos an app on my Iphone, so I could later get the stories down on paper. I wanted to share one of the stories that I remembered our niece sharing and it wasn’t on there. She must have shared it after the recording was turned off.

It is such a cute funny story, that I want to share it.

Our niece Hannah used to love to spend time with Grandmother. If she ended up running errands with her, she would always end up getting lunch, which was one of her favorite things. One time they were stopped at Arby’s to get lunch, and Hannah said she wanted a Arby’s without the sauce, just the meat. So Nancy tell’s the guy at the spot you order that they want a sandwich with just the meat, and I guess she repeated, “Just the meat” a few times. They got to the window and the worker had put meat only in the container where the sandwich should have been. They laughed, but to fix this situation Nancy went back around the drive up. They got the sandwich corrected and then she drove to go out and missed the exit, so she drove through the drive through again. Haha! That is such a cute memory. I can totally picture Nancy driving around the restaurant in the drive through 3 times!

I’m sure she is celebrating her birthday in Heaven with Pearce. What a wonderful couple!

Missionary Monday: Elder W. in Argentina!

Hola!

This week we will be having our zone conference with the visit of Elder Bragg a member of the Quorum of the seventy.  He is visiting our mission, and he will speak to us on the 8th.  We will be traveling to listen, and to have our zone conference, with our Christmas dinner with president and his wife.

This last week we found and taught three new investigators.  They are just getting to know a little more for now we will see how it goes this week,  we also had a great lesson with our branch president and one of our investigators named A., we invited president to go with us and he was more than happy.  In the lesson the investigator expressed his desire to find the right path, and the right religion.  He is looking for the truth!  He didn’t come to church yesterday, and that was a little disappointing, but I’m sure he will progress with time.  We promised him that if he prays with faith and a sincere heart he will find out that the Book of Mormon is true, and therefore find the right path, just like the promise says. (Intro. of Book of Mormon)
It is good to have a member come with us on the visits with the investigators, we have been trying to work more with the members here. We have done a lot of service this week, one of the service projects was move “power poles” and we were able to go with the branch president on that lesson, and we hope to be able to have more lessons with a member present.
I know that Christ lives and loves us,  I know that God is a God of order, and He is perfect,  The Church is true, and we see miracles all the time.
Thanks for all the support, I love you!
Elder W.

Sunday Best!

“The Prophet Joseph said at one time that one of the greatest sins of which the Latter-day Saints would be guilty is the sin of ingratitude. I presume most of us have not thought of that as a great sin. There is a great tendency for us in our prayers and in our pleadings with the Lord to ask for additional blessings. But sometimes I feel we need to devote more of our prayers to expressions of gratitude and thanksgiving for blessings already received. We enjoy so much.”

You could have an experience with the gift of the Holy Ghost today. You could begin a private prayer with thanks. You could start to count your blessings, and then pause for a moment. If you exercise faith, and with the gift of the Holy Ghost, you will find that memories of other blessings will flood into your mind. If you begin to express gratitude for each of them, your prayer may take a little longer than usual. Remembrance will come. And so will gratitude.

You could try the same thing as you write an entry in your book of remembrance. The Holy Ghost has helped with that since the beginning of time. You remember in the record of Moses it says: “And a book of remembrance was kept, in the which was recorded, in the language of Adam, for it was given unto as many as called upon God to write by the spirit of inspiration.” (Moses 6:5.)

President Spencer W. Kimball described that process of inspired writing: “Those who keep a book of remembrance are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. Journals are a way of counting our blessings and of leaving an inventory of these blessings for our posterity.”

As you start to write, you could ask yourself, “How did God bless me today?” If you do that long enough and with faith, you will find yourself remembering blessings. And sometimes, you will have gifts brought to your mind which you failed to notice during the day, but which you will then know were a touch of God’s hand in your life.

-Henry B. Eyring

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 One year, a few years ago, I kept a daily gratitude journal. It was wonderful to take the time to notice the everyday blessings that Father in Heaven has given me. These blessings are so much a part of our daily lives that sometimes we don’t even notice them. We take them for granted. Remembering to thank God in our prayers is so important, but keeping a gratitude journal helps you come up with at least 365 things you’re grateful for, or helping you to pay attention to the little usually insignificant things that are blessing straight from God. His way of letting you know He is there, He cares about what is important to you, and He loves you!

I had to smile today at what our sweet daughter-in-law said. She said she knew Heavenly Father loves her because we were having breakfast casserole for Sunday dinner. She had a busy day at church, and was super tired. Having breakfast casserole for dinner felt like a blessing. It was very good!

I really think it’s ok to give God the credit for everything we are blessed with, even breakfast casserole. After all He gave us life and the opportunity to live in the beautiful world. All the yummy food is a blessing of living in a world that provides the necessities of life. Janet needed some breakfast casserole, and God provided it.

I had a wonderful experience the year I kept a gratitude journal. I recommend it. We are blessed more than we realize if we take the time to notice.

Hope your Sunday was the Best! Love, Joy

Beautiful Places!

Zion National Park in Southern Utah.

It was so breathtaking!

Shear cliffs on all sides. You can’t drive through the whole thing anymore, there are too many people who visit. You park at the Visitor Center and ride buses with huge windows through the main attractions, getting off when and where you wanted to stop. Buses come by every 10 minutes or so. It was so fun though.

One of my favorite places was a place call “Weeping Rock”. About half way down this shear cliff, water in coming out of the rock. There is no obvious source. It drips down the side of the rock leaving moss growing there. Just a short distance below where the water starts coming out of the rock the rock caves in like the beginning of an arch. You can hike up and stand under where the water drips without getting wet.

It was beautiful!
On the road with some of our friends that we went with. They kept their sun roof open so we could enjoy the sights. So much fun!
This is our group of friends we went with. They are beautiful, too!

These Big Horn Sheep were not intimidated by us at all. They were just eating right next to the car. I was tempted to give this one below a pat on the rear, and I almost could have reached him, or her.

If you ever get the chance, visit Zion National Park.

It is such a beautiful place!

Family History Friday: Did They Serve Together?

My Great Great Grandpa Albert Fairbanks fought in the Civil War. His ancestry is Native American, English, Canadian, and French. He was born in what would become the state of Minnesota, in White Earth. He was part of a group of Native Americans and half breeds to join the Union Army to fight during the Civil War. He was a Corporal when he joined and a Sergeant when the war ended and he returned home.

My Great Great Grandpa Andrew Hanson fought in the Civil War. His ancestry is Norwegian. He came to America in 1857 with his wife and family. They put down roots in Fillmore County, Minnesota. He must have already loved the country because he joined the Union Army and fought during the Civil War. He served till the war was over and sent a letter home to his brother saying he needed a hat and boots to get home. The army gave them a ride home on the train, as far as it would go, then they’d have to walk the rest of the way.

As far as I’ve been able to tell, they were both in the Minnesota Infantry.

And they were both in “Company G”.

It does seem they were each in a different Regiment.

Andrew -2nd Regiment and Albert 9th Regiment.

After some searching, I’ve found that each Regiment comes from a different geographical location. So even though they both were in a “Company G”, they did not serve in the same Regiment.

I was thinking while I researched how neat it would be if they knew each other.

How wonderful it would be if they fought shoulder to shoulder.

It does appear as though they didn’t serve together, and that’s ok!

In 1864 the 2nd Regiment took part in the Atlanta Campaign and marched with Sherman to the sea. Wow!

The 9th Regiment spent part of their time protecting General Sherman’s railroad supply line from confederate raiders. Neat!

I am super excited to know for sure that they fought in the same conflict, and that they fought for the Union. I am so happy to know more about my Great Great Grandpa’s!  What hard working, service oriented people they were. Oh, and very patriotic! Family History is so fun!

Happy Family History Friday! Love, Joy

If I’d Only Known…

18 Years Old

When I was just a young girl,

in my teens, I would day dream about being married and having a family,

someday.

I wanted so much to be loved by a wonderful man, and to be the mama to some darling children.

I really wasn’t sure it would ever happen.

I had a lot of self esteem issues.

I didn’t think anyone would ever want to be married to me. I thought I wasn’t pretty enough; skinny enough, fun enough, lovable enough for someone to want to be with me.  And if there was never someone who wanted to be with me, then I would never get to be a mama. I always felt, and still feel, that the best place to raise children is with a mom and a dad married. These are my beliefs and feelings, based on how I was raised. So if no one ever loved me, I would never marry, and never be a mom.

I know this sounds a little dramatic, but I was a teenager thinking like a teenager.

I just wish I could have had my grandma self come visit for a bit, with my teenager self. It would have helped me to be able to relax and not worry so much.

I would tell my teenage self,

“You are beautiful and very lovable!” 

I would tell myself how wonderfully blessed your husband will feel to have you in his life.

That your children will admire the way you keep going even when you are overwhelmed and sad. I would tell my younger self that it might take a little time,

but it will happen,

and it will be wonderful!

You will be older than you thought you’d like to be married, but you will have good experiences that will add to your knowledge of life and how to live and love people.

Experiences that you would never trade.

23 Years Old

 

Then after some time you will have what you dream of, and it will be worth the wait, and oh, so, precious.

The best part of all of it?

Grandbabies!!

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Why are we so hard on ourselves?

Why do we not just trust our Father in Heaven has blessings, wonderful blessings coming our way? If I’d only known then, what I know now, I think I would not have been so hard on myself, I would have enjoyed the process of going through life, a little more.

Maybe there is something to that.

Maybe we need to trust, have faith that Heavenly Father wants us to be happy and even though sometimes we have to go through hard things to get to the happiness, we can do our best to enjoy the process. Have “Joy” in the journey! It all worked out and I worried so much.

Happily Married for 32 Years!

One thing is for sure, I’m so happy to be where I am now. So thankful for a sweet Darlin, the opportunity to be a mom, mother-in-law, and grandma! Life is a blessing!

A Man of God.

Our sweet Prophet, President Thomas S Monson passed away yesterday.

I am so grateful for his life and example. He has lived a life of integrity, and service. Everyone should have an example like Thomas S Monson to look up to show how to live the best life.

My favorite quote of his is:

“Whom the Lord calls, the Lord qualifies.”

Other favorite quotes:

“Never let a problem to be solved become more important than a person to be loved.”

“Choose your love, love your choice.”

“A happy home is but an earlier heaven.”

“A man without a purpose is like a ship without a rudder never likely to reach home port.”

“Do not pray for tasks equal to your abilities, but pray for abilities equal to your tasks. Then the performance of your tasks will be no miracle, but you will be the miracle.”

“The future is as bright as your faith.”

He was called to be the bishop of an LDS congregation at the age of 22, with a membership of 1080 people, 84 of which were widows. He took good care of those widows, even speaking at all of their funerals. He was a stake president, a mission president and became an apostle when he was 36. He has been our prophet for almost 10 years. He lost his wife almost 5 years ago. I’m sure they had a beautiful reunion yesterday. We have enjoyed his wisdom and love for many years. The service he has given in his lifetime is immeasurable. He was 90 years old. We will all miss President Thomas S Monson!

“Don’t Postpone a Prompting.”

Having family members that I love and wanting to show them love is difficult at times. The older we all get, especially extended family, the harder it is to keep in touch and “love” each of them.

To me love = time.

That may not be how others receive love, but I usually have more time than money so that is how I show it.

The Prophet Thomas S. Monson said, “When [the Spirit] speaks, wise men and women obey. We do not postpone following promptings of the Spirit.” 

A few months ago I had a prompting.

I kept having thoughts of our nephew come to my mind. We hadn’t seen him for a while, and I said to my Darlin,

“We need to take Pearce out to dinner.”

I texted him, “Brett and I want to take you to dinner!’

He answered, ” Of course! What’s the occasion?”

I said, “We just love you! It’s a celebration of love!”

He said, “I’m a huge fan!”

We met him for dinner, and had such a nice visit. Our sweet nephew made a deal with the waitress to pay for the dinner. It was our idea, and he paid. What a sweet guy! We were so glad we had that time with him. He passed away in November. Can you imagine how I would feel if I hadn’t followed through on the prompting.

It takes time and effort to love each other, but it is worth it. I know that Pearce knew we loved him and that is so important to me. Another thing about the Spirit is that I feel like I will have help in knowing when to do something to show love, especially if I listen and do what the Spirit tells me. He will know I’m listening.

I will always remember how good it feels to do what I have been prompted to do.