Friday when I was walking into the grocery store a woman stopped me and complimented me on my haircut. I smiled and thanked her. It made me smile since it is not really a haircut, although I did get it trimmed around the edges last month. It’s just me recovering from my baldness. Her compliment made me feel good. I mentioned this to Rick and he suggested that I should give out compliments as part of The Birthday Project. This is such a great idea.
I have never been very good at accepting compliments. I will not be doing that any more and plan to give out compliments on a daily basis.
Several years ago I ran into my second grade teacher in the Salt Lake Temple. I was amazed how much she looked the same after all those years and that I recognized her. A month or so ago I saw a woman in the Houston Temple who looked really familiar. I saw her name tag and realized that she was one of my high school art teachers. Today when we were on our way to the temple I realized that since it was Saturday she might be working again so I decided I was going to talk to her. I saw her as we were going into the session, but that wasn’t a good time to stop. I saw her again when we finished and stopped to talk for a minute. I told her that I had been one of her students and how grateful I am for the positive influence she was in my life. I told her that I remember her being young and very cool. So today instead of writing a thank-you note, which I have become very good at, I actually thanked someone in person! I smiled a lot on the drive home.
When Allyson was called to be the Young Women president in her ward in Perth she asked me what advice I’d give her. I thought for a minute and told her to love all of the young women unconditionally, to look for their strengths and the good things they do and then tell their parents about all the good qualities. Parent’s love to hear about the good things their children do in a world where so many are so quick to judge and criticize. I had so much fun last night with the primary girls. They we so darling and very polite. I loved having them here. I decided to write notes to each of their mothers to thank them for sharing their darling daughter’s with me.
Today I decided to write a letter of gratitude to someone who influenced my life greatly. I had planned to send this on my birthday, but it seems I was prompted to write and send it today.
When I was fourteen Ardeth Kapp spoke at my ward’s New Beginnings program and said something that changed my life’s focus. She said, “You should pray everyday that you will be worthy to go to the temple.” For a girl who had the crazy idea that just because her parents hadn’t been to the temple that she wouldn’t be allowed to go, this was a revelation. So that night I began to pray for that every time I prayed. I did go to the temple and so have all of my children. That one sentence influenced generations and I decided to thank Sister Kapp. I have written the letter to her in my head a million times. Tonight, it has be written, stamped and is ready to mail.
Today Rick and I spent the entire afternoon shopping for the supplies the missionaries need. We have been doing this monthly shopping trip for quite awhile. We have it down to a bit of a science. We divide the list in half and I get cleaning supplies and equipment and Rick shops for office supplies, kitchen supplies and auto. It usually takes about 30 minutes for us to shop and at least that long to check out. Yesterday we started at Sam’s, but the mission membership card wasn’t working so we went to Walmart. Although it seems like mundane work, it is great service that allows the missionaries to do the work that they came here to do.
And just because I do this shopping every month I find it hard to count this. I have been thinking about my friend Tina and decided to write her an email hoping to bridge the 18+months since I have seen her. She was grateful to hear from me and sent an update about what she is doing and where her girls are. I need to set a goal to do better at staying in touch with the people I care about.
This project has been harder to do than I thought it would be. I am trying to do things that don’t always involve giving away money. I want to do things that involve my time and one on one contact with others. It has also been challenging because I have been doing many good things, but they aren’t things I wouldn’t do anyway.
Today I prayed that I would find something good to do. I didn’t see my friend Becky at church today. She had knee replacement surgery last month and is still recovering. After church I decided to make a pot of chicken pot pie soup and bread. Then I decided to make some pumpkin muffins. I packaged it all up and called Becky. I dropped off breakfast and lunch for her tomorrow and stayed for a visit. I am grateful for her and the time that she spent visiting me while I was going through chemotherapy.
-It is hard to write about acts of service like this when I should be doing it anyway.
Around December 21 I found out that a very good friend from my time in London was diagnosed with a brain tumor. My heart broke! She had a biopsy on December 24 and has been moved to a skilled nursing facility. The doctors said that due to the advanced state of the tumor she only has 1-3 weeks to live. I am so glad that her son and daughter are with her. I feel a bit helpless being across the country. Today I sent her a message expressing my love for her and my gratitude for her friendship.
Today at church are speakers were Jacqueline Pendleton and Karsten Taylor. They are both young people in our ward who have recently returned from serving missions in very different places. Jackie served in Finland and Karsten served in Little Rock, Arkansas. I decided to write letters to some of the missionaries currently serving from our ward. I wanted to let them know how much I appreciate their willingness to serve and their desire to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with others. I am sure I will come to appreciate their service more as Rick and I begin serving our mission in June.
On Sunday, we had a special musical program celebrating the birth of Jesus Christ. I was so touched by the beautiful presentations that I finally took time to write thank you notes to some of the participants. I am so grateful for people who have musical talents and their willingness to share them.
Today I took some of my children and grandchildren to a small nursing facility to sing Christmas carols. Pam Jackson, a friend from church lives there and I heard that they were looking for groups who would want to come and carol. Pam was living in Humble, TX when we first moved there in 1978. It was a great experience and I stopped to visit with Pam for awhile. It touched me so much when she told me how concerned she had been about me and my cancer. She told me how she had written me a card and and couldn’t find my address, so she ended up tearing it up. I plan to go visit Pam on a regular basis. Singing and seeing the reaction of the residents to our little ones made me smile.