On the night before Thanksgiving two years ago I woke up suddenly to the sound of vomiting. My three-year-old had come down with the stomach bug that had hit my other children earlier in the month. Unfortunately we were at my parents’ house for the holiday and I had not packed many extra clothes. I spent the rest of the night tending to her as best I could, quietly searching the crowded house for extra towels and blankets to keep the mess contained without waking up anyone else and spoiling their holiday too. By the time the sun came up, my poor daughter was only wearing a t-shirt and was lying on the floor swaddled in a large bath towel. I spent Thanksgiving morning catatonic on the couch watching Disney cartoons with my daughter while my mom cooked the entire meal herself. I didn’t even enjoy the feast that year because I was too tired and the smell of food was nauseating (thankfully I escaped the illness myself). Continue reading Thanksgiving Mayhem, Christmas Chaos, and Other Cherished Memories
So I’ve been driving round town listening to Brene Brown for the last month. No doubt most of you are familiar with her work, her research, her books. I can’t wait to dive into her newest release, Rising Strong. But of late I’ve been listening to her talks on vulnerability (developed from her book, The Gifts of Imperfection). I love what she has to say about wholehearted living. She offers ten guideposts to those who want to live more open, more joyful, and more fulfilled. Things like letting go of perfectionism, creativity, play, rest, and gratitude.
What she had to say about gratitude made me laugh out loud. Continue reading More Than an Attitude
The last few weeks have been difficult for me (for many of us, I think): I have wrestled with the new church policy, cried watching footage of the bombings in Beirut and Paris, and the ongoing Syrian refugee crisis has wrung my heart.
I’m not here to offer pat answers or solutions–I don’t have them myself. But I did find a tender mercy this past weekend in the form of a member of my bishopric, who asked me to give a talk on finding peace through the Atonement. The process of preparing that talk reminded me of some truths that I needed, and would like to share here.
Sometimes peace through the Atonement comes as we rely on repentance and forgiveness to heal the wounds we’ve caused through our own mistakes.
But sometimes–often–such peace comes purely gratuitous, as an act of grace.
Annalaura Solomon is interviewed here by the Mormon Women Project about her experiences joining the Church after being raised by her Lesbian moms. It’s especially interesting to read after all the brou-ha-ha of the church’s recent announcement about baptizing children in a homosexual household.
Who doesn’t love a good performance? Here’s a funny and interesting clip of the amazing singer, Adele, showing up in disguise as an Adele-impersonator to try out with other Adele-impersonators (is it just me or does this bring to mind the scripture of the sheep recognizing the shepherd’s voice?). Or maybe you just love a good old Hollywood song and dance number? Check out this modern mash-up that will make you want to get out of your chair and do a sashay across the room.
Most of you wonderful people adore books and reading as much as we do. This is a heartwarming story about children’s book-vending machines in a poor area of Washington D.C. where books are hard to come by. I love to read the dedication page of a new book and here is a collection of some of the funniest and most clever. There is a new anthology coming out soon that explores the many voices of Mormon Feminism, both old and new; this article interviews the editors of the book about the time, work and thought required for such an undertaking. Are you leaning more toward poetry these days? Here’s a hot new trend that uses existing books or newpsaper articles: it’s called blackout poetry and it’s something even poetry-dislikers can get on board with. It’s super easy and fun! Want to give it a try? This video shows you how to do it and the New York Times has made a computer-friendly place to do your own blackout poetry.
Our Melonie Cannon has done her own brilliant and artistic take on blackout poetry:
Today’s Sabbath Revival post was originally published in November 2007 by Heather O. We wish each of you a Thanksgiving full of thanksgiving.
Last Thanksgiving I was 11 weeks pregnant. And on bedrest. And terrified I would lose my baby.
Cramping, spotting, unable to move without pain, I spent the day listening to my mother-in-law prepare the entire meal, which she did with amazing cheerfulness. I looked out the window at the bare trees in my yard, too distracted and worried to do anything else. I ate my mother-in-law’s delicious feast, tried to help with the dishes, but then I doubled over in pain and started spotting. I promptly went back to bed. I settled back in the cushions, and stared out the window once more.
6 months later, I was back on bedrest, staring at the now budding trees in my yard, trying to remember what life was like without pain, wondering if I would ever be able to move without wanting to cry out, and again terrified that I would lose my baby.
My pregnancy taught me a lot about pain. And I have learned that when pain is gone, you are made truly grateful.
I used to think gratitude was about appreciating what you have, particularly relative to what others do not have. Eat your beans, child, because there are starving families in China! If you don’t like your toys, I will give them away to somebody who does!
I also used to think gratitude came from acknowledging your unworthiness of blessings. Thank you, Father, for what You have bestowed on Your humble and lowly servants, and we acknowledge Thy Hand in all things.
Maybe gratitude is all of those things, or a part of them. But really, I think it’s all about the pain. And the not having of it. In any capacity. The sweet joy of relief. Such a blessing trumps any thoughts of have vs. have not, stuff vs. no stuff, service to know your nothingness. This is such stuff as joy is made on.
This Thanksgiving, the leaves in my yard are an eye-popping display of gold, red, pink, and yellow. I stared out my window this morning as I snuggled with my baby during her morning nap. I cleaned my house for my mother-in-law’s return, and we have already prepared 2 fanstastic looking pies, raspberry jello, and the yams. We are ready to party.
And as I pray over our meal tomorrow (today? Sheesh, what time is it?), I will sing a song of gratitude for the One who can relieve all sorrows, the One who can take away all pain. I will understand what it means to sing the song of redeeming love. I will feel true gratitude.
Happy Thanksgiving, everybody. And all you marshamallow haters out there, stay away from my house.