Wednesday, March 28, 2007

French wombat?

OK, this is more quirky than uplifting, but I'm gonna write it anyway. When I logged off Blogger just now, it took me to Blogger's main page. Partway down the screen there was a rotating list of blogs that had just been updated, and lo, I saw a blog entitled californianwombat. Intrigued, I clicked on the link, only to discover that the blog was written in French. What's that about? Shouldn't a French blog have a title like "Wombat du Californiaeux" to warn unsuspecting non-French speakers?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Blog Purpose, Refined

This post will be short - Baby's due to get up soon, but I haven't posted in a few days and I wanted to get this thought written down, however briefly.

This morning over breakfast I was reading an article in BYU magazine about refinement. The author, Elder Douglas L. Callister, states his belief that God and all heavenly beings are completely refined - not snooty, but taking great pleasure in beautiful things. Callister then discusses several aspects of refinement and what the prophets have said about them.

The section about language particularly resonated with me. As I read about how Elder Callister enjoys inspiring and uplifting conversation, I realized that is exactly what I want this blog to be. I find I am most motivated to write when I've come across interesting or uplifting ideas, because I want to share them to inspire you and lift your spirits. What's more, the process of exploring these ideas makes them more permanently a part of me.

I hope this blog brightens your day now and then. It certainly helps me look for and remember the good in the world.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Who Couldn't Use More Cash?

I'd like to share one other thing I heard on Sunday that you might enjoy. A speaker who likes to shop told us about a form of renewable CASH - the more you spend, the more you get to keep spending:


The more you smile at people, say hi to them, sincerely compliment them, and ask questions about them, their interests, their families, etc., the more you get to enjoy each other's company and keep being friendly. Makes me warm and fuzzy just thinking about it. :)

As a matter of fact, I've been thinking I should get to know our neighbors in our apartment complex better. Earlier this week I passed one of them while Baby and I were out walking, and though I didn't know him very well I did at least remember his name. I smiled and said, "Hi, Joe." He smiled and returned my greeting. Later that day we crossed paths again, and he paused and asked me to remind him of my name. I told him, feeling touched that he was interested in knowing it.

I'm still a long way from knowing Joe well (probably should have asked him a question like "What do you do? Where are you from? Do you prefer mayo or mustard?"), but "hi" is a start. We probably would have just kept passing each other with mute nods if I hadn't smiled and addressed him by name.

Motives Matter

Lately I've felt like I've been doing some of the most important things in my life (prayer, scripture study, etc.) half-heartedly. On Sunday I heard something that I think will help me change that. A speaker in church shared a quote from Mother Teresa, who stated that if we do something purely out of duty it depletes us, but if we do it out of love it enriches us.

Granted, doing good things out of a sense of obligation is better than not doing them at all. Nevertheless, I believe that as I make an effort to pray, study, worship in the temple, be friendly to my neighbors, and so on out of love for my Lord and for others, I will do those things better and be more enriched by them.

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Quote of the Day - "Enjoy"

"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured." (President Gordon B. Hinckley)

I own a small book called Stand a Little Taller, which contains a scripture reference and a quote from President Hinckley for each day of the year. The above quote graces the page for September 8--my wedding anniversary. It's fitting--although Phillip and I have plenty of serious bones in our bodies, but we also share a quirky sense of humor. We enjoy life in our own goofy, geeky style. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Quote of the Day - "Done"

"I would like to let you in on a little secret. Some of you have already learned it. If you haven't, it's time you knew. No matter what your family needs are or your responsibilities in the Church, there is no such thing as 'done.'" (Elder Ballard, Ensign, November 2006)

Boy, ain't THAT the truth, especially once you have children.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

Beyond Conventions

NPR aired a short piece on New Orleans today. Apparently conventions are a big source of revenue for the city, so it's really working to convince organizations that the Big Easy is back in shape for big gatherings. What's more, convention attendees are invited to spend part of their stay cleaning up neighborhoods and rebuilding homes damaged by Hurricane Katrina. What an amazing experience.

Thursday, March 1, 2007

Losing Yourself

I listen to Dr. Laura sometimes when I'm in the car. She reminds me how much I love my husband and daughter, and her callers remind me that all of my problems are relatively tiny. OK, so my daughter woke up at 4:30am last night. At least I have a loving husband, a family that likes each other, and in-laws I get along well with. If you've got that and a good relationship with the Lord, you can face everything else. But I digress . . .

I was listening to Dr. Laura on my way to an appointment today, and she read an interesting email from a listener. Apparently, two women called yesterday with the same concern: they worried they were losing their identity as they spent all day caring for their children. The emailer--a dad whose wife recently left him--responded that as he tries to fill the roles of both breadwinner and nurturer he is definitely losing himself, and loving it. He wishes he had even a few more minutes each day to spend with his kids.

In some ways, I can empathize with the two women. Since my baby arrived nearly three months ago, it has been a huge adjustment to suddenly have my schedule (if you can call it that) be at the mercy of another person's needs and whims. Even something as simple as running to the store for some eggs must be carefully planned and requires triple the baggage. I struggle to accomplish even the things I NEED to do, much less those I want to. If my identity was represented by a career, a hobby, or even a clean house, I would definitely feel I was losing it.

On the other hand, nothing melts my heart like seeing Joy smile at me when I get her up from a nap. I'm her hero. What an incredible privilege. What's more, I'm intensely curious to get to know her better, and see what she'll be like as she grows up. It'll be an adventure, and I wouldn't miss it.

As for the identity issue, the things I do may have changed, but the way I do them has not. My personality infuses everything I do. For better or worse, I'll be raising Joy and her future siblings Kimberly-style.