Monday, July 8, 2013

More Blessings -- A Vacuum and a VCR

The topic of blessings has been on my quite a bit lately (as I'm sure everyone has guessed).  Part of it probably comes from needing a positive outlook with the furlough looming over our heads.  The other part of it most likely comes from actively watching for blessings in my life.  After all, that which ye seek, ye shall surely find.  So, if I look for my blessings, I will be able to more easily recognize all that the Lord does for me in my life.

One of the biggest blessings that I saw actually happened a while ago.  At the time we had a very old, horrible vacuum.  I was always frustrated with it.  Well, one day, a Kirby vacuum salesman came to the door and did his little presentation. I wanted one SO badly.  I wanted a vacuum that I could use and make it really feel clean.  I was terribly tempted to buy it for $1100.  But, then, I thought about how it was more debt.  It would be another monthly payment and it would be more interest.  It was one of the more difficult things to do to turn that offer down.  I was very disappointed.  I really wanted a vacuum that would do a good job.

The very next day I saw that a friend of mine was selling her very nice Kirby with most of the attachments for $100.  A lot of people asked for it, but I was the lucky one that got it.  I truly felt that the Lord has blessed us because I did not go into debt and followed the counsel of the prophet.

A couple of months after that our DVD player died.  We didn't have the money to get one so we waited and waited for months until we could save up enough money.  It never happened, though, and I was wondering what to do.  Then, a friend of ours offered their DVD player in return for something.  We were so happy to have one that we didn't have to buy, and it works beautifully.  The man was happy to get it out of his garage, and overall, it worked out more perfectly than I could have pictures.

The Lord is so good. I love how He is always finding way to show us how much He loves us, and I am so grateful.

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Blessings of Living Far Away from a Temple

One of the most difficult things for me about the town we live in is that our temple is about three and a half hours away.  Until now, the furthest that I've ever lived from a temple was an hour.  Now, it is an all-day trip if we want to go there.  I've complained about it and been frustrated by it many times.  But, something that a sister in our ward said once really has changed my perspective on this, and I thought I would share some of the blessings we have of living so far away from a temple.

1. A temple trip is an all-day experience.
When we go to the temple, it is an all-day experience rather than something that is done and over in a couple of hours.  What a blessing it is to be able to focus on something so spiritual and wonderful for an entire day!

2. We get to share the experience with our children.
Because it is such a long trip to the temple, we often take them with us.  Sometimes we will stay overnight in the temple apartments, and sometimes we'll go down and Jim and I will take turns doing a session while the other one watches the kids.  Either way, we our taking our children with us, so they get to share in the feelings and blessings of the temple grounds.

3. Our children witness our sacrifice.
Our children know that it is a sacrifice to take the entire day and spend the gas money and the money for apartments if we stay there.  They know that for us, taking that time away from projects we need to do, or other activities that we would like to do is a sacrifice.  But, when we sacrifice to go to the temple, it shows them how important it is to us.  That is a wonderful thing for a child to know.  Plus, it opens up the opportunity to talk about the temple.

4. The greater the sacrifice, the greater the blessing.
I truly believe that the Lord blesses us for each sacrifice that we make .  And if our sacrifice is great, then I believe that the blessing will be great.  The Lord is good, and if we follow the commandments and direction that He gives us, then he will happily bless us.

I am grateful for the better understanding that I received about the blessings of it being so far away. But, mostly, I am grateful that I have the opportunity to go to the temple.  I dearly love being there.

Updates and a Day at the Lake

I am back! It has been way too long since I have written. Our kids are growing up so much and I really want to be better about keeping some sort of journal about it. It'll be a slow process catching up, but I'll do what I can.

Yesterday we decided to go to Lake Diaz.  It's only about an hour away so it is a perfect day trip. Jim had been there with the scouts, but the kids and I had never been. It was wonderful! We had loaded up the canoe that is hanging in our garage and the kids looked forward to swimming. It was quite the adventure driving down the highway with the canoe strapped to the top of our van. We had to drive a little slower than usual, but a nice leisurely drive never hurt anyone.

I was glad we had gone there and gotten away from the intense heat of Ridgecrest.  It was about 10 degrees cooler there than at home. It was warm, but still pretty nice.

When we got there we started a fire and cooked up hot dogs for everybody. Then I made a chocolate zucchini cake in the dutch oven and put it on the coals.  We took the canoe out and went swimming for a little while as the cake cooked.  The kids really loved the water. It was a perfect temperature.

We took our two dogs, Freddy and Chloe, with us.  Freddy loved riding in the canoe.  He would stand up with his feet on the edge and his face in the wind.  He was in heaven! Chloe, is a bit of a scaredy-cat. :) She hid under my seat the whole time.  She is funny.  Freddy swam some, too. I think it was probably the first time they had ever gone swimming.

When the cake was done we all gathered back at the picnic table to eat.  It was AMAZING! I am really loving being able to cook with a dutch oven. I even had frosting to put on top and it melted into it.  So good!

We canoed again and swam some more.  Then we loaded up everything and came home.  The kids were so happy and excited.  I was tired, though, and fell asleep on the way home.

That evening, Jim and I were able to go on a double date with some good friends of ours, Larry and Marla Cosner. It was such a great evening! A wonderful day!

(And, because I know pictures are more interesting, I will have posts with pictures coming soon.)