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Friday, December 16, 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day Two

Dear Friend W,

Praise His holy name!  God is in the details!


I just wanted to update you and tell you what happened to me on Wednesday.  I was really bummed about not going to the fellowship meeting and I was questioning myself, though I knew I shouldn't because I also knew it was the Lord's will.  I buckled Son into the car and wasn't sure which way to go.  I thought about going home.  I realized I hadn't brought my phone to Bible Study and so I didn't have a way to update my husband that I wasn't going to Fellowship.  He was actually going to meet me at Burger King at noon to help me leave with Son, because I really needed to run an errand.  The errand was to go visit the nursing home that I had a performance at on Saturday.  I had scheduled a time block for my piano students and I to put on a Christmas concert.  I had never been to the facility, so I needed to go check it out and look at the room, piano, etc.  And I had to have this done by 3pm on Wednesday, because I had promised my students that I would find out if was "creepy" or not.  They call it an assisted living center, but I have learned that can mean a lot of different things on a wide spectrum.  My students were nervous about this service opportunity, and I really wanted it to go well for them that they would find joy in serving the elderly through using their musical talents.   This is why I was kind of feeling stressed even when I was planning on coming to the Fellowship.

I considered going straight to the retirement community and just completing the project earlier than planned.  I figured that I could pop in, complete my business and still make it home to text Husband about the change of plans, but then I felt like I should go get my phone first.  It was basically on the way, so it wasn't a huge deal.  Yet, I felt really shallow, like I was one of those people that couldn't function without their smartphone with them all the time.  I decided I was shallow and I went and picked up the phone and went to the retirement community.

I walked in, spoke with administration, took care of business, saw that it was a digital grand piano, and was about to leave.  There really wasn't too much to do.  Then I decided to play the piano for a volume check and I discovered that the action is very stiff which will be helpful for my students to know.  I started to play a song and all of a sudden a bunch of residents appeared!  They hobbled in as fast as they could.  Some even scooting their own wheelchairs into place.  I felt bad that I had "teased" them with one song when my intent was to leave, but then I had an idea.

I recently downloaded a hymns app on my phone, so I just pulled it up and played the Christmas hymns listed.  I could only see one line at a time, so I had to scroll and play at the same time, which resulted in some missed notes, but it ended up being a lot of fun.  A lady had given Son a bag of cookies and he just laid on the floor under the piano and ate them contentedly, which surprised me, because he's not always the most patient.  Tears came to my eyes as I realized that I had almost come without my phone, and I would not have been able to play for these elderly people.  When I was in high school I would go every Sunday and play piano at an Alzheimer's facility and I've held those memories dear over the years.  I intend to speak with the activities coordinator on Saturday about creating a long standing relationship with them, so that I could play more often for them.

I reassured the residents several times that I would be back Saturday morning at 10 and finally left.

Isn't that so cool?  I am still bummed that I missed out on hearing from everyone, but this is just so cool.  That He would direct me to get my phone so that I would be able to play for these residents on that day, and that it will bless them in the future as I schedule for time to play for them.  Very awe-inspiring.

I hope the recitals went well.

Merry Christmas!

Musically,
Lindsay

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

The Twelve Days of Christmas - Day 1

Dear Readers,

I think it'll kill me off, but I'm going to post something for 12 days in a row leading up to Christmas.  There just isn't time to write, and so unless I make a goal/ deadline, I will always find something more important and time sensitive.

I do well with what is placed in front of me.  Jesus healed people (John 5:1-15) by physically touching them (John 9).  He spoke to them (Matt. 5:1-2).  He looked into their eyes (woman taken in adultery).  He was there.  He was present in mind, body, and spirit.

I've learned that to be like the Savior, I need to do the same.  I need to be within arm's reach, so my hands can bless them.  I need to be able to speak with them face to face and look into their eyes so that I might commune with their souls and discern their needs.  I need to make sure that technology doesn't distract me and pull me away from the needs that are around me.  I need to place myself around others, and when they place themselves in front of me I need to stop.

STOP.  Not just pause.  Not view them as a hurdle, speed bump, blip in the road, or detour to go around in my journey forward.

They ARE the journey!

Jesus intended that these people and situations be put in my way.  We are Jesus' hands on earth (Pres. Uchtdorf's talk about this).  Jesus Christ can no longer physically meet needs.  He can't look into faces filled with despair to offer hope.  His love is ever present and His Spirit abundant, but sometimes a physical tangible need is there, and that's where we come into the picture.  Christ has saved us all, but He uses us to help and love one another here on earth.

Countless experiences have humbled me as He has allowed me to be an extension of Him.  But I also know that I have worked hard for the Lord's trust in me.  I have listened to and acted on promptings immediately as they've come.  I remember in the beginning, I was full of second guessing myself as I learned how to listen to the Spirit, but now things are so second nature that I don't question.  Nothing shocks me anymore in the things that I am prompted to do.

Honestly, though, I love it.  It is a joy to be in the service of my God.

I feel like I'm speaking so vaguely in this post, but I just can't find the words to describe how wonderful it is to be a true disciple of the Savior that is only concerned with treating others EXACTLY as He would treat them.  And having the same hopes and desires for them that He would.  No small task and I still fail sometimes, but as I hone my abilities it gets sweeter and sweeter.  I feel bad not giving specific examples, but I don't want to cheapen or lessen the experiences I've had.  I don't do things to be able to report back on the blog.  (Matt 6:1-4)

So I struggle to blog.  My readers are not right in front of me.  Honestly, don't be surprised if I don't blog all 12 days ;)  I am journeying on with all that comes in my path!

With love,
Lindsay

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Somewhere In Between

Dear Husband,

Hello.  I am writing today.  I was going to entitle this "once upon a time", but I realized that this blog is in no way in it's beginning stages.  I have 310 posts according to Blogger.  I also reread a comment from 2010.  That is 6 years ago!  Where has time gone?  And by virtue of writing today, the blog cannot be dead or ended either.

So today I write.  I write somewhere in between the beginning and end of this blog.  I don't really know from where I write.  In between sums it up about right.

I am not near the beginning of my life nor near the end.  I am not near the beginning of my marriage to you, nor the end (I hope!).  I have not just started living in my present locale and I don't know when I'll leave, etc. etc. etc.  With a life that is often so full of change and many beginnings and ends, it is different to be in between.

I'm just somewhere in between.  I'm doing whatever it is that people do when they "live life."  Somehow this "life" prevents me from writing.

Here's to becoming a faithful writer/recorder of thoughts again, because I love looking back and re-reading old posts.  Nephi said "For the fulness of mine intent is that I may persuade men to come unto the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and be saved"  (1 Nephi 6:4).  Amen to that.  I would love that all my readers were saved having accepted Jesus Christ as their personal Savior.  He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life (John 14:6)!  I hope to be the same writer as he was and take his challenge (commandment) that I "shall not occupy [this space] with things which are not of worth unto the children of men." (1 Nephi 6:6)

It is a high charge that I give to myself, but one I want.  Help me find time to write.

Embarkingly,
Lindsay

Thursday, December 25, 2014

He is The Gift

Dear Readers,

Merry Christmas!

If you are already a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, there is no way you could have missed this video this holiday season.  From showing it in Times Square and renting major ad space on the YouTube homepage, this video has been everywhere.

But if somehow you've missed it at the Church's new Christmas website: christmas.mormon.org (different from christmas.lds.org)...here you go.  Or you can just watch it for the 237th time and love thinking about the greatest gift of all.


 




It's been a wonderful Christmas season for my family filled with service and joyful giving to others.  We've enjoyed focusing on the Savior.  This year we participated in a candle advent.  Each night during our candle lighting we read scriptures or sang songs of "light".  We discussed close to 50 scripture/ song references to light and how they relate to the Savior, or our examples/ countenances, etc.  It's truly been wonderful all month and today.  I hope it's been the same for you and that you have a wonderful rest of the day.

Much love,
Lindsay

Monday, November 17, 2014

A Tale of Two Preparations

Dear Readers,

I have recently been in touch with a Primary President and a Young Women's President.  The former planning a Primary Program and the latter planning a Young Women's in Excellence Night.  I'd like to talk about how they both prepared, because it was VERY different.

One thing that was the same was that they both did start planning well in advance of the date of the event.  That was good on both of their parts as these are major events that shouldn't be planned at the last minute.  However, that was about the only thing done the same.

Let's start with the Primary President.  She started with prayer.  As she had never been in charge of a Primary Program before, she reached out to those who had.  First, she asked heavenward for the Spirit (I repeat she relied on prayer.)  Then she asked for advice, tips, and tricks from former Primary leaders and asked them to pray for her as well.  She did a lot more things of course, writing the program parts, and scheduling practices, making seating charts, etc. etc. etc.  In summary, every time I spoke to her as she was preparing, PRAYERS for the Program, prayers for the success of the Program, prayers for help in the preparation for the program, prayers for the children, etc, was discussed.

Let's turn to the YW President.  She started by turning to Pinterest for a good idea, which she found!  A full program that someone else put together, no thinking required!  It had everything already thought out.  All one needed was a printer (for all of the cute graphics!)  In every instance where I touched base with the YW President, Pinterest was discussed and how great it was that no work was needed.  The Pinterest idea said to decorate with burlap, so burlap decorations it was!  The Pinterest idea even gave ideas for the refreshments, and so they were followed exactly!  The program, and posters for the walls, invitations for the girls, and even a skit script were all provided....and used exactly!  There was no talk of prayer of how to adapt it to the needs of her specific Young Women.  More time was spent on implementing the Pinterest idea than in helping the Young Women have Personal Progress projects to present that night.  But they did complemented on those cookies!

And so these last few months, it has been an interesting juxtaposition for myself to see these two events unfold (in different wards, bytheway).  I didn't get to see both in person, so I can't give an even steven comparison.  I can't say that the Spirit wasn't at the Young Women in Excellence Night just because Pinterest was used over prayer.  I can't say that the Primary Program was better.

I can make guesses though :)  I did receive a great report on the Primary Program and the Spirit that was felt by those present.  I know that the children were taught that they helped others to feel the Spirit through their sharing of spoken word and singing.  It sounds like the focus remained spiritual for all.  No one reported to me about the Spirit at Excellence Night.  Most of the chatter I heard was about the cookies...even the stake leaders were raving about how cute they were***.  That's what I heard about.  I heard that girls didn't have their parts memorized to say The Living Christ like had been planned.  Maybe if less time was spent on copying a Pinterest idea and spent on helping girls memorize The Living Christ, a more meaningful experience may have been had.  It sounds like the focus was on cute and Pin-worthy items.

I don't make memes, but if I did it'd say......"Use prayer, not Pinterest.

I believe in prayer.  I believe in revelation.  I believe the Savior will tell us how He wants HIS Church administered and I'm not sure it has anything to do with cookies.

Prayerfully,
Lindsay

***I just did an internet search for "Excellence Night cookies" because I wanted to make sure that I wasn't embarrassing the lady who originally put her ideas on the internet.  I found that apparently Excellence Night cookies are a big deal because I didn't even see the ones that had been copied.  Same with searching under burlap, so I'm safe.  My intent is not to embarrass or put down the original idea, because it may have been put together under prayer for that specific Young Women's group.  I don't know.

Friday, November 14, 2014

The Sweetness of Singing to Sleep

Dear Sister,

I just emerged from singing Son to sleep.  It is not the usual way he goes down for a nap.  Usually we plan our outings so that he falls asleep in the car on the way home from the morning errands.  And if there are no morning errands then sometimes it's just time to "go in the car" and we go on a delightful drive to the lake and back. Thankfully I live 1 mile from the lake and my son falls asleep really fast in the car.

Today I deemed it too cold to go in the car.  I didn't think the heater would kick in during our short drive, and I do happen to still be wearing pajamas.  So in we went to the rocking chair to try to make a success the ritual that Daughter and I loved when she was younger.  I sang her to sleep everyday for years.  Son has been resistant to the practice.

I snuggled him and I sang and I sang songs that were found in the Primary Children's Songbook.  Truthfully, I enjoy the free vocal practice time, and singing all of the verses to a song really helps to embed the words in my memory.  But most of all, I love that I am pouring the doctrine of Christ into his little brain to just sit and simmer until the Holy Ghost will call it back to his remembrance today.  Think of all of those seeds that will come to fruition.  I think it's so interesting that I'll be planning to sing a certain song next, but then a different one will just pop out instead.  I wonder if I'm being led to sing what he needs to hear.  There are so many good songs to rotate through.  I'd say I usually sing about 15 minutes.

These are the songs that I sang today:
I'm Trying to Be Like Jesus (pg. 78)
Love One Another (pg. 136)
Keep the Commandments (rusty second verse! note to self...please look it up) (pg. 146)
I Am A Child of God (pg. 2)
I Lived in Heaven (pg. 4)
I Know my Father Lives (pg. 5)
Search, Ponder, and Pray (also botched a line in the second verse...note to self) (pg. 109)
Seek the Lord Early (pg. 108)

I feel like I'm forgetting one, but oh well.  I've forgotten the sweetness of singing to sleep a child with the Primary songs.  Husband always does bedtime and I know he sings some, but I've been missing out!  I think now that it's colder that Son will be more receptive to snuggling before nap time, because he loved being wrapped up in the blanket today.  I think he was cold.

Do you sing Primary songs to your little one?  Hope all is well.  The 50% off sale is this week.  I re-looked it up.  And pinch some cheeks for me!

Love,
Lindsay

P.S. And you owe me money? :)

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Sandy Story

Dear Readers,

Ack.  3 months......  I was counseled 3 months ago via priesthood blessing to write on this blog, but my how time has flown.  I shall do my best to start.  Material isn't the issue.  Time to write a blog post that meets the Lindsay standard is the issue.  Either time to make more time (anyone have a good recipe ;) ) or time to lower the Lindsay standard.

Today as I drove to the temple I passed a car accident.  The way the car was positioned, the emergency vehicles were positioned, the glass on the road was positioned, etc.  I remembered another car accident that I drove past last year.

It was summer.  It was hot.  It was night.  A lady that I visit taught at that time was alone.  Her husband was deployed overseas and she missed adult conversation.  She had 5 kids that she homeschooled so she was NEVER alone, alone (except when I babysat them so she could grocery shop in peace!)  So one night, we scheduled a talk date to fulfill this need of adult conversation.  I went over after she put her kids to bed and then stayed very late!  We talked, and talked, and talked, and I yawned and yawned and yawned, because I was staying much later than my bedtime.  I think I left at 10:30pm, ok you can start laughing, that's not late to some people I know, but it was to me at that time.  I was starting to drive home when a little voice told me to drive another way home, because it might be "faster".  I wasn't really sure it was faster, but I knew my husband was waiting up for me, and hey why not....I might learn something new.  Who wouldn't want to shorten a 25 minute drive that I was making regularly to help this sister?

I started to drive the alternate way home and decided I was sure it probably wasn't faster.  I got mad at myself for listening to this little voice because it had made me slower when I was trying to be faster!  I turned onto the beach highway noticing how sandy the intersection was.  It wasn't uncommon for sand to blow on the highway.  The beach bordered the highway and so when sea breezes pushed the sand inland the highway was the first place to go.  Still tonight this intersection seemed to have a lot more than usual and I carefully made the turn.  As I completed my left turn onto the highway I saw there was an accident.  A car had lost control and veered off the road.

It only took a few seconds to put it all together in my mind.  The Holy Ghost had warned me.  He had prompted me to drive the other way home.  Driving my original route would have put me on the beach highway sooner and I would have sped through that intersection at 50 mph not knowing that there was more sand on the road than I had seen before.  I could have veered off the road myself or been present when the other car had.  In my "haste" I might have made a perilous decision which definitely would NOT have been faster if I had an accident.  How grateful I am for the GIFT of the Holy Ghost (great video here).  I am blessed.

I had a lovely time at the temple today.  I am grateful for my blessings.  I am grateful for the remembrance of my blessings and pray that I can make time to write them here.

Hope all is well,
Lindsay

P.S. What rusty writing!