Faith vs Fear

Faith vs Fear

Monday, December 20, 2010

Christmas Thoughts

So far we have had a joyous Christmas season. David decided he was going to get into the spirit of it, and has worked extra hard to stay healthy. He hung up the Christmas lights both inside and outside of the house; it looks so festive!
Two of the grandchildren with their gifts in front of the tree

We helped out with the ward Christmas dinner last week, and we had a good time with it. Jeff and Katie with her family came to the party, and it was fun to watch baby Sierra (8 months) look around and take it all in. Two of our grandchildren, Brad and Gabby, stayed the weekend with us, and on Saturday night we took them, along with granddaughter Jenna, to Temple Square to see the lights. Crowd scenes are always difficult for David, but he went anyway, and we had a lot of fun watching the children run around looking at the sites.

On Temple Square

The nativity scene

One of the luminaries on the plaza

At work, we had a devotional and Christmas parties to help celebrate the season. Bishop David Burton spoke about keeping Christmas simple on a day when I really needed this message. Among other things, he said, "Simplification can help us focus on what is important. Simplification helps us to serve and distinguish between wants and needs. Simplification can be therapeutic and help us focus on our blessings and heritage. Focusing on gratitude will make a difference in our lives, and help us think of the life and ministry of Jesus Christ. Too often we look for the Savior in the big, glamorous events of life, and miss seeing Him in the small and simple experiences of life."

A young lady with bipolar on a board for spouses in a bipolar relationship said that the holidays are difficult for her because routines get stretched and changed, and can cause frustration and anxiety. I think the key to a happy holiday season for those suffering from this disorder is to keep track of moods, and adjust festivities accordingly. Besides, I get overwhelmed, too, and appreciate scaled-back celebrations, with a chance to relax and enjoy the spirit of the season, as well as to ponder on the greatest gift of all: that of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

On the family front: We were snowed out for our annual post-Thanksgiving pie party on the Sunday after Thanksgiving. So this year we had it a week later. Those who were in the area came, and we had a nice time visiting with each other. Truthfully, the food is an afterthought at these events, but I did make a cranberry cheesecake that turned out well. My favorite part is having the house full, listening to bits of conversation, and the sound of grandchildren running through the house and playing together. The remodeled room where the toys are kept was a big hit. And this week Ben and his family are moving to Idaho Falls where he will be starting a brand-new job. We are so excited for them about this next chapter of their lives.

Monday, December 6, 2010

November happenings

On the Tuesday before Thanksgiving a huge blizzard was forecast for the area. The hype was so intense that we were sent home early from work (not that I minded), and the stores were crowded with people getting last minute supplies. When the storm rolled in, the clouds were impressive but the storm only dropped a relatively small amount of snow. Then, on the Sunday after Thanksgiving, a snowstorm came through the area with little warning, and dumped 15 inches where we live.

Aftermath of the storm
Isn't that the way life is? While it's a good thing to be prepared, I have found that too often I end up worrying needlessly about a crisis that doesn't happen.

For example, on the last warm fall day the week before Thanksgiving, David decided to go fishing at his favorite spot by himself. I did manage to smile and wave good-bye and to not "mother hen" him with a list of do's and don'ts, but I worried about him off and on all day at work. I had a hard time relaxing until he came home at dark, just as he said he would, happy and showing off his string of fish. He had a good time, and we enjoyed a fish fry that night. All that worry for nothing! I have to keep reminding myself that worrying, in an of itself, really doesn't accomplish much.

I took a day off for our 24th anniversary, and we chose to spend it fishing at our favorite fishing hole. Then, the next day one of our sons joined us for another fishing trip. The weather was lovely, I enjoyed the serenity of the area, and the company of David and Ben. In addition, we caught some beautiful fish.

During the Thanksgiving holiday David and I painted and rearranged our spare bedroom. It was a fun project to work on together, and nice to have it done. I'm thrilled to have quiet office space, as well as a place for the grandchildren to play with a stash of toys when they come.

David's mood has been fairly stable this fall. We've noticed that he'll have some upbeat, productive days followed by a day or two when he can't do much. When that happens, he's learned to take some his meds, and then go lay down in a quiet room by himself. He manages his disorder best when he takes steps to minimize its affect on him. It takes some mental effort, but he is able to pull himself together, and continues on with his life. I'm really proud of him.

Family update: We also went to dinner for our anniversary and were so happy to have all of the children who live in the area there. Our family keeps growing, soon to number 18 grandchildren. And our Soldier Brian was just promoted to 1st Lt.—so proud of him and his family, as well as his brothers and sisters and their families. We have much to be thankful for.