Friday, January 28, 2011

Crazy Cody

Ok, so I've been a little deep lately.  Today I just want to say I'm thankful for Cody and his crazy ways.  He is always making me laugh.  The other night at my sister-in-law's wedding dinner we were all eating these giant ribs.  Cody looked up at Jeff and said, "Dad, I can't believe we are eating human ribs!"  Jeff laughed and said, "Cody, these aren't human ribs - they are from a cow."  Cody looked up at him and said, "Ewww.  That's even grosser!"  I love my Cody.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

I washed his feet.....literally.

Ok so Jeff had knee surgery about 3 weeks ago.  He had his ACL replaced and some torn stuff fixed and had a fracture set or something like that.  Basically, as my kids say, "Dad's knee got jacked."  He can't put any weight on his leg for 6 weeks.  It has been really hard for him.  He can't do a lot of things by himself.  At the beginning he had a really hard time putting on his socks or putting on his brace.  One morning he called me in while he was in the shower and asked if I could wash his feet.  He just couldn't get down there to do it.  So I did.  I washed his feet.  It was then that I remembered the Savior and His great example.  It was then that I knew I needed to be more like Him.

Now over the course of these three weeks I have had to serve Jeff quite a lot.  I bring his food to him in bed or on the couch.  I get his clothes and put all of his clothes away when he drops them on the floor.  I make the bed and do all the things he can't do.  And do you know what?  I love him more.  That's right.  Serving without expecting anything in return is an amazing thing.  Most of the time when I do things for him, eventually I get mad if he isn't doing things back for me etc.  But not this time.  I know he really can't do much so I don't expect it and I just keep serving.  Happily.  Maybe this is what the Savior meant when he said, "But he who is greatest among you shall be your servant."  Matthew 23:11.  Now I'm not saying I'm the fact, I'm saying quite the opposite.  I'm saying that I'm self serving and naggy most of the time and I keep score.  But these last three weeks I haven't.  Jeff has loved me more and I love him more simply because I have just served him.

My brother in law had a sister born with a severe disability.  I don't remember what it was called but she couldn't do anything for herself.  She couldn't even talk.  She was only supposed to live a few years, but ended up living 18.  When she died her whole family was devastated.  They loved her sooo much.  All those years they had served and served her and she had never been able to do anything in return.  That is why their love was so pure. So heartfelt.  I don't think we can really understand what those 18 years of pure service did to their hearts.  I know it made them more humble.  I know it made them stronger.

So - what did I learn in the end?  I hope that I have learned to be a little less "me, me, me," and focus more on serving Jeff.  I hope that I can tuck this little experience in my pocket and be less irritated in the future about pants on the floor or something else so tiny in the scheme of things.  I hope I've learned to be a better servant.  And hopefully this will carry over into other aspects of my life.  Hopefully I can be a better sister, mother, friend and daughter.  Hopefully I can serve harder in my calling at church and in my home.  Hopefully I will remember the sweetness that I have felt these last 3 weeks and hopefully I'll let it change me for the better.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Hope, Grace and Purity

I noticed something the other day.  I bought this magical face cream one day because I saw it on Oprah's Favorite Things.  And if it's Oprah's favorite and you can afford it, then doesn't it have to be amazing??  I don't normally watch Oprah.  But I caught this episode.  And the name of my amazing Oprah advertised face cream is called Hope.  I loved it so much that I went out a bought some for Jeff's staff for Christmas, and for my mom.  With all that extra purchasing of stuff at Ulta they gave me a little bag of sample stuff from Philosophy and in it was a body wash called GRACE.  It really is called Grace.  Now I'm getting to the good part.  So the other day when I was getting ready I realized that the perfume I got for my birthday is called Pure.  (It smells marvelous by the way.)  Every morning I wash myself with Grace, apply Hope and then cover myself in a beautiful scent called Pure.

What if this was true?  What if every morning we put on hope?  What if I woke up and had a firm hope that the day was going to be great; that my kids were going to do well in their lives and make good choices and be kind to the kids in the lunch room who don't have enough friends?  What if I woke filled with hope that my Aunt Louise will continue to get better FAST and that she will be able to eat again just like me?  What if I was filled with hope that my friends dad would pull through his cancer and that my little sister would be able to manage her tough road with two disabled children?  What if I woke to the hope that I would live together with my dad, who died much to early, again someday and that all my family would end up in the same beautiful place because of the blessings of the gospel in our lives.  Isn't hope magical?  Just like the cream that makes my skin so soft and firm, the same can be done for my life if I just have a little more hope everyday and think about it more and really hope for the things that "are not seen, which are true." (Alma 32:21)  President Dieter F. Uchtdorf, one of our modern day apostles described hope in this way.  "Hope has the power to fill our lives with happiness. . . Hope is a gift of the Spirit. . .  We have the responsibility to make (hope) an active part of our lives and overcome the temptation to lose hope. Hope in our Heavenly Father’s merciful plan of happiness leads to peace, mercy,rejoicing, and gladness. The hope of salvation is like a protective helmet; it is the foundation of our faith and an anchor to our souls."  If you want to read the whole article you can find it here.  It's worth the read.   Let's have more hope.

Grace.  I have thought a lot about this word in the last year.  When I first think of the word, I think of being graceful. When someone is graceful I think of them being soft and calm and kind.  My husband says he thinks of a ballet dancer.  I think my Grandma Marge was a graceful woman.  I want to be more like her.  I want to be less brass or loud and more still like her.  I know when people think of me, graceful isn't the first word they think of.  And that's ok.  But I'd like to work on that.  
But then when I think of grace as in the grace the Lord offers us it takes on a whole new meaning.  When I think of that kind of grace I think of the scripture found in 2 Nephi  “It is by grace that we are saved, after all we can do” (2 Ne. 25:23)  I think of the atonement of our Savior and the blessing that He gives to me.  Me.  He knows my shortcomings and my weaknesses and promises me that if I do the very best I can, He will step in and make up that difference to make me whole.  I don't think that most of us really understand this principle.  I think most of us are out there trying to perfect ourselves and are always falling short.  But if I understand grace correctly it is an AMAZING gift from our Father in Heaven through His son Jesus Christ.  Because of grace I can return to live with Him again.  Because of grace I can make mistakes and repent and He will love me just the same as He did before the mistakes.  I want to study more about grace and understand it more.  But I know that it is something that I want everyday.  I know I need that extra help and support from the Savior everyday. I went back to Ulta to buy the big container of Grace and found it was too expensive.  I went home empty handed and decided to use my little bottle sparingly.  This is the opposite of the grace I get from heaven.  The grace I am offered is free.  The grace I'm offered never runs out and can be used as often as I choose to turn to the Lord.  I am grateful for Grace.  Wouldn't it be great if we really did wash ourselves in His grace every day?

Lastly, in my morning routine I spray on my perfume.  "Pure".  This word is a beautiful word to me.  It embodies so much. I want to be pure.  I want my thoughts and actions to be more pure.  I want to think only the best of others.  I want to judge less and love more.  I want to watch good media and listen to uplifting songs.  I want to have a clean heart.  I think it would be awesome to have a spray that I could cover my body with every day, like a blanket or a protection that would keep me pure.  I wish the influences of the world didn't creep in so often and make me feel a little less worthy  - a little less pure.  I want my children to be protected from the terrible influences of pornography and the evils of the world that try so hard to invade our homes and our children's minds.  I want my three year old to stay as pure as she is now.  Purity.  It's beautiful.  It's clean.  It's tangible. It is visible in the eyes of those who's thoughts and actions are pure.  I want it to be more visible in me.

Now that I have noticed these things, I hope I think about them every day as I use them.  What a sweet little blessing it was to see these things in such a new light.