Wow - it's been a great couple of days, just full of joy and testimony.
I have recently been feeling a little sorry for myself, feeling a little lonely - you know how it takes some time making friends in a new place (even if you are as talkative as me). I was praying for friends. Nice, eh? Please - just some friends would be nice. I've got fabulous friends that I've met along my journey through life that have come into my life in unexpected ways before.
1. Joanne - moving a few doors down when I needed a good friend, hitting it off immediately. Just one of those people that "get" me, who I can be myself with 100%. Haven't found another like her since.
2. Michelle - someone I admired from a far for a while, then became friends with kind of casually. Such a talented and thoughtful friend. (Again, just a couple of doors down).
3. Lynn - someone who I have learned so much from about being a mother, and who I see eye-to-eye with in so many ways. Getting to know one another when our ward boundaries changed, thrusting us into each other's lives. LOL!
Oh, the list goes on and on, and I realized that it was the Lord's hand that brought these friends (and many, many more) into my life. So here I was, feeling sorry for myself - as mentioned earlier :P and I decided to pray for a friend. Funny thing - I had the answer come in my heart to forget myself and SERVE! Um..okay, how do I do that besides serving in my calling? I don't know anyone here very well...how can I be of service? Well, the Lord provides...
Saturday Leah called (a gal who also just moved here in the last couple of months) and wanted to visit over some hot chocolate. YES! I went over and we visited. I babysat while she picked up her hubby from the RCMP training center, and had a great time.
Sunday, I noticed that Veronica (the Enrichment counselor in the Relief Society presidency) left home after Sacrament meeting. I asked her husband where she went off to and he mentioned that she felt like throwing up. Oh no! I knew that feeling well.. I told her husband if they needed anything to call. Of course he didn't. Next day I felt impressed to phone her, and lo and behold - her husband answered (obviously she was still sick and he was home caring for her). Turns out their little 1 year old boy had the stomach flu as well. I told them I would be bringing over dinner that night, and I got to work making some light-tasting honey Dijon chicken with rice, some salad, and some fresh fruit for dessert. I had just gotten over the stomach flu a few days before, so I knew to include some ginger ale and a nice bright potted plant with yellow flowers (sorry - can't remember the kind, just that they kind of looked like yellow daisies). I felt on cloud nine as we dropped it off. You see, it occur ed to me that because we had just had the stomach flu here, I fully appreciated how ill they must be feeling and made the decision to bring dinner, though they hadn't asked. I also had a good idea of what I could stomach when I was sick, and what kinds of foods to avoid. I could hear the relief in her husband's voice as we brought it over - he was overwhelmed with just caring for his wife and child. I could see the Lord's hand in it completely.
Tuesday I signed up to help clean the Temple. The temple is cleaned by the members every week - dusting, vacuuming, glass cleaning, disinfecting, even raking the carpets to remove vacuum lines. What an amazing blessing and privilege to help to clean the Lord's house! While living in Calgary, we lived about 3 hours from the nearest temple, so having the opportunity to clean it had never come my way before. If there was ever a way to forget myself and serve it was in the temple. What a magnificently beautiful building it is inside. The feeling of peace just made my spirit soar. Amazing.
But that wasn't the best part of the evening. Since it was my first time cleaning it, another sister in the ward (Sheri) took me under her wing and let me tag along with her to do the dusting. We struck up a conversation and realized that we have a lot in common. We both moved her from Alberta, we both love scrapbooking and other paper crafts. I found out that she is my daughter's primary teacher. I'm sure that we'll become great friends. I also had a great conversation with a member of Temple presidency who showed me around some of the rooms, pointing out all of the new gold-leafing work that had been done this past week. All in all, the cleaning took only 45 minutes! (It doesn't get very dirty, really - and we had 9 people show up to help). I can't wait to do it again!
Finally, I had a conversation with my brother in law who is living in China. He is going through a bit of a rough time right now. While in the past things have seemed to come easily for him, he is going through his "trial" period. If you know what we've been through in our family the past year, you know that I could relate to much of what he was saying. I was able to bear my testimony that when everything is coming your way, you're on the wrong side of the street! LOL! Actually, he asked me how we handled the various trials we've experienced, and I told him that while it wasn't a party, we weren't miserable through it. I told him that when you are living the gospel, you have a perspective that trials are a necessary part of life that help us learn and grow, they help us get to the next part in our lives. We knew, even amid our trials, that while we lived the gospel the best we could - the Lord would use these trials to help us rise to greater heights in our testimonies and in our ability to serve others. Case in point! I felt as I spoke with him, that things had come full-circle. I remember him giving us encouraging words as we struggled with the decision to move, for my husband to finish his degree etc. and now here I was - giving encouragement to him. If I hadn't experienced the trials I have, I could not have been in a position to offer hope and encouragement from a position of experience.
Whew! What a week (and the week's not over). I know things will steadily improve in the friend department as I forget myself and serve! It's worked great this week :)
And since no blog entry is complete without some photos, I wanted to show you a little project I completed yesterday. This made me do a little happy dance! I was reading on Heather's blog and she has come up with an inspired idea to create a sort of "friend file" with 4X6 cards that her blog readers create about themselves, then mail to her. I loved the idea and got to work creating mine! She wanted some info about us - hobbies, etc. and a photo. I recently bought some paper from Michaels (K&Co. has the most gorgeous paper kits with fun embellishments that all co-ordinate) so I made quick work of this:
I wish I could have kept it! LOL! I loved the idea so much, and considered doing it myself, but it's not the same when you've got 10 people visiting your blog compared to her hundreds! LOL! Maybe when I've reached a point where I can't keep track of my visitors, I'll borrow this idea. So much fun. If you are a Heather D. White fan - get to work on your 4X6 card and get it in the mail!