Sunday, September 26, 2010

WRAPPED IN THE ARMS OF CONTENTMENT -

Not long ago my dearest husband and I were discussing our retirement options; which at this moment of time are not quite as good as we had hoped. Through the years I have told him that I would be content with him even if we had to live in a tent. I meant that statement with all of my heart. I am content with this awesome man and would live anywhere with him. I made a decision many years ago that I would be happy or content no matter whether  my home was small or large. Interestingly, when raising our 6 children we lived in small three bedroom homes and the 3 boys had a room together and the 3 girls had to share a room also. Our children were blessed to learn many lessons on sharing and getting a long with one another in our smaller homes. I found my happiness was not based on having a bigger home or more things.  The last several years we have lived in larger homes but I find my self no happier with the larger space. I am content to live with my eternal companion forever even  in a tent. Of course I wouldn't mind having a few tent modulars added.
In thinking about what the word contentment means; I thought I would look it up and I found several sources of thought. This one fits the above description of life. "Contentment is not the fulfillment of what you want, but the realization of how much you already have." Unknown Author
Here are a few more quotes on contentment:
"The most valuable things in life are not measured in monetary terms. The really important things are not houses and lands, stocks and bonds, automobiles and real state, but friendships, trust, confidence, empathy, mercy, love and faith."  - George C. Lichtenberg
"My crown is in my heart, not on my head, Nor decked with diamonds and Indian stones, Nor to be seen, My crown is called content: A crown it is, that seldom kings enjoy". - Bertrand Russell
"Since we cannot get what we like, let us like what we can get." - Williams Shakespeare
"Happy the man, and happy he alone, he who can call today his own; he who, secure within, can say, tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today."
Happiness is part of contentment and then there is those brief but ever so exquisite moments of joy. Rejoice, feel happiness or joy; joy is the emotion of the great happiness. I often say to those I hold dear and others who's friendship I value; enjoy the moments!
I find contentment, happiness, satisfaction and pure joy in the little sweet tender mercies that I receive from my Heavenly Father.  Sometimes, it is just loving the home I live in, caring for a neighbor, strengthening a friendship, loving my husband, caring for a child, loving my children, grandchildren, and great granddaughter; looking in the eyes of my ever so beautiful posterity, listening to a child, learning a lesson, creating and enjoying a really good meal, slowly eating a piece of delicious chocolate, being grateful for all the Lord has blessed me with; including all the beauties of nature surrounding me, petting and caring for my sweet dogs,  working through a problem, the joy of accomplishment, feeling the spirit when I hear, read or do something that brings me great happiness, watching a good movie, playing the piano, reading a good book, finding an answer in the scriptures, serving in the temple,  feeling at peace with who I am and what I want to be, receiving forgiveness and sincerely forgiving another, moments of prayer, being wrapped in the warmth of my testimony of Jesus Christ, finding peace and faith in my adversity, knowing that I am a Daughter of God, and finally knowing and feeling the peace and comfort of the spirit to my soul no matter what the situation might be. 
I have found that although every moment of life is not pleasant, or joyful and content; one can choose to be happy at any given moment. 

Learn to Like - by Robert Service

School yourself to savor most
Joy that have but little cost;
Prove the best of life is free,
Sun and Stars and sky and sea;
Eager in your eyes to please,
Proffer meadows, brooks and trees;
Nature strives for your content,
Never charging you a cent.

Learn to love a garden gay,
Flowers and fruit in rich array.
Care for dogs and singing birds,
Have for children cheery words.
Find plain food and comfort are
More than luxury by far.
Music, books and honest friends
Outweigh golden dividends.

Love your work and do it well,
Scorning not a leisure spell.
Hold the truest form of wealth
Body fit and ruddy health.
Let your smile of happiness
Rustic peace serenely stress;
Home to love and heart to pray
Thank your God for everyday.

Just for this minute, hour, or day I will be content with just this moment of time.

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Our Heavenly Father's Will Verses Our Will-

Five years ago my husband and I were living in Spokane Washington. We had lived there for 17 years; raised our last four children during their Jr. High and High School years. We had grown to love the area, the people; we had great friends and had many unique opportunities of service in our church.
Suddenly, my husband lost his job after 17 years of working for the same company. It was one of those downsizing and probable times when they get rid of their older employee's. It took him 9 months to find a position. He had 3 job offers just before his severance pay ran out. We had to make a quick decision. The jobs that were offered were in Fort Worth, Texas, Kansas City, Kansas and Salt Lake City, Utah; plus a possible job in Spokane.  The Job in Texas and Kansas were more money, less cost of living and lower housing prices. Salt Lake City was the highest cost of living and the highest price of housing and the lowest job pay. At this time we were getting ready to fly to Salt Lake for a family wedding. One of the offers was made while we were boarding our plane to go there.  After the Wedding in the Salt Lake Temple, we walked around temple square. We prayed and talked and thought over what should we do. The job offer in Salt Lake wanted a quick answer. The job in Spokane was not for sure; so we were nervous about waiting for that one even though we wanted to remain in Spokane. Our oldest Son and his family lived in Heber, Utah which is near Salt Lake; along with our daugher and her husband who lived in Salt Lake City while he was attending the University.  Our other two sons lived in Idaho Falls and Sugar City Idaho; so they would only be four hours away from Salt Lake. This of course was a positive thought. Our oldest daughter lived in Corpus Christi, Texas and we would be leaving our youngest daughter and her family in Spokane. We were torn as to what to do. Our choice was of course to stay in Spokane; we loved it there or perhaps take the higher paying positions with the lower cost of living and lower cost of homes.
As we were praying and walking; I knew beyond doubt we were to take the job in Salt Lake. Meanwhile, I didn't voice those feelings because I knew my dear husband needed to know that too. All of a sudden he started to shed tears. I became alarmed at first; then he told me he knew that we were to come here and he had the words from the third verse of; " How Firm A Foundation", come into his mind. As we said those words over we were overcome with the spirit testifying that we were to come Salt Lake.
Here are the words:
"Fear Not I am with thee; oh, be not dismayed.
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid.
I'll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
 Upheld by my righteous, upheld by my righteous,
up held by my righteous, omnipotent hand.
My husband in accepting this position would be doing an entirely different area of his profession than he had been doing for over the past 17 years. Also, everything didn't go smoothly for our move. We were unable to sell our home in Spokane for 6 months.  It was a time of intense stress and very big changes in our lives. He had to start his job here in Salt Lake sooner than I was able to come. Just before I left Spokane; I had a very hard time leaving and had been crying off and on for over two week; even though I knew beyond doubt we were doing what we were suppose to do.
The last Sunday there was my Birthday and I was very emotional. I asked our Bishop for a blessing. The one thought that impressed me the most was that some day we would know why we were here. In the last 3 years we do know beyond doubt exactly why we are here. There is so much comfort when you do know that you are doing the Lord's will.
Elder Robert D. Hales gave a BYU Campus devotional message recently. I will quote a few thoughts from his message.
" It is by using one's agency to make right choices today, tomorrow and for the rest of an individuals time on earth that they are able to follow the Savior and return to his presence."
"This development always takes time and testing and faith. We will all be tested, often to our limit. Yet all of us are assured that we will never be tested more than we can endure. And the greatest blessings will be based on how well we endure our test."
"Whatever challenges or hardships an individual may experience in life are provided for a reason - to help individuals become and accomplish what they were specifically sent to the earth to be and do. Heavenly Father has unique plans for every individual that are more glorious than anything an individual could imagine or arrange for themselves. "
Elder Hales further said that individuals must listen to the Spirit rather than the opinions of men in order to make correct decisions. "
"All of us should carefully consider what Heavenly Father wants us to do, and how he may be preparing us."
Elder Robert D. Hales - Deseret News Article September 14, 2010.

It isn't always easy to understand God's will for us; verses what we think would be best to do. 
Giving our will to God is the only true way and if we learn to do this; we will receive the greater blessings.  

Sunday, September 12, 2010

LOVE AND HUGS TO ALL OF MY FRIENDS; THOSE THAT I SEE OFTEN, THOSE I SEE OCCASIONALLY AND MY BLOG FRIENDS!

 THANK HEAVEN FOR ETERNAL FRIENDS.
FRIENDS ARE LIKE LIVING WATER TO US WHEN IN NEED -
OF COURSE OUR GREATEST FRIEND IS 
OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST 
WHOM IS ALWAYS THERE 
AND JUST A PRAYER AWAY 
TO AID US IN 
OUR SOJOURN ON EARTH -
Today, I have such a feeling of love for all of my dear friends. I still see fairly often girls that I went to school with from 8th grade on. I have many friends that I have made through the years that I still communicate with often. I have a few friends that I would love to have more contact with. I have several friends that I am very close to and I consider them my sisters since I didn't have any sisters.These friends are those you can tell anything to and they just love you and never judge you; and are there for you when you are having a bad day.  Of course, all of my friends I feel I met and knew in the pre-existence.
 I love this quote my Elder Neal Maxwell- 
"We sometimes overlook: the intertwining of our lives. I acknowledge the Lord's hand in these intersections. ...One of of the reasons we love each other in the kingdom is that our friendships are not friendships of initiation at all but are, instead, friendships of resumption!
Each of us has circles of friendships and within those lie the portion of the human family whom God has given us to love, to serve, and to learn from.
You and I may call these intersectings 'coincidence'. This word is understandable for mortals to use, but coincidence is not an appropriate word to describe the workings of an omniscient God. He does not do things by 'coincidence' but instead by 'divine design.'
Friends are so important in our lives. I also love those dear friends that I have made through blogging. Thanks for lifting my soul on a regular basis. I have deep gratitude for the part you all have  played in my life.
A favorite Quote from Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley - 
"We are all in this together. We need each other, Oh, how we need each other. Those of us who are old need you who are young. And, hopefully, you who are young need some of us who are old. It is a sociological fact that women need women. We need deep and satisfying and loyal friendships with each other. These friendships are a necessary source of sustenance. We need to renew our faith every day. We need to lock arms and help build the kingdom so that it will roll forth and fill the whole earth."
LOVE AND BLESSINGS PLUS HUGS TO YOU ALL!  LeAnn

 

Thursday, September 9, 2010

STORMS COME AND PRAYERS ARE ANSWERED -

Outside my window the clouds are gathering the skies are darkened and a rain storm is coming. Just as in life storms can come frequently; sometimes one on top of another. Some storms are violent and sometimes it may be just a  gentle rain. Storms are like life. When a storm comes into my life I always rely on Prayer. I know that my Heavenly Father hears and answers my prayers. Often times the answers come quickly like the rain and sometimes there is a drought before the answer comes. During this reaching up to Heaven, patience is tested and developed, faith is increased, hope abides. Then gently comes the warmth of the sunshine, the peace of the spirit and the answer. You then feel and know that God loves you, protects you and gives you answers to your prayers.
Today there is a storm going on in my life; but as I listened to this beautiful video I had the peace of the spirit penetrate my thoughts this day. Enjoy!

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