Thursday, August 9, 2012

What Have I Done for Someone Today?

I like so many have been blessed with amazing family and friends! They put up with all my big projects and come running to my aide each time I bite off more than I can chew. I wonder many times why they even want to be my friends at all, it’s so much work! They live the Gospel of Jesus Christ each and every day as they serve others. My life has been greatly blessed because of their goodness, sacrifice of time, talent, and resources. When I think of these good people I’m reminded of the ultimate example of love, charity, and compassion - President Thomas S. Monson. 

It is so easy to get caught up in the busyness of life. As I look back on all the service we received during our daughter’s wedding, it is a humble reminder for me to take a look at my own life. Am I immersed in the “thick of thin things”? Do I spend too much time on things that don’t really matter in the eternal scheme of things, or am I focusing on more important causes and seeking opportunities each day to give back and “pay it forward”.

We are surrounded by those in need of our love, attention, encouragement, support, comfort, and kindness. These beloved children of God are family members, friends, acquaintances, and strangers. We are the Lord’s hands here on earth, with the calling to serve and lift others.

Helping Hands at my Daughter's Wedding
It took many hands to pull off the fairy tale wedding. Countless men and women jumped in and helped so much, making fabric roses, hemming endless yards of tablecloths, cutting and tying yards and yards of ribbon, hanging hundreds of European crystals from very high branches, taking the entire burden of the food off my shoulders, running more errands than I can count, doing yard work in the pouring rain, offering the use, set up, and services of the perfect sound system, setting up tables and chairs, spending a sleepless night with our daughter to help calm her nerves, cleaning up after it was all over as I was in a comatose state of exhaustion, taking me home and putting me to bed, delivering the wedding dress to be cleaned and preserved, dropping the flowers off to be freeze dried, delivering left over food and flowers to neighbors in need, I could literally go on for pages with the service rendered in our behalf. . .

The photo here isn’t complete, but the best we could get as so many others were scurrying about to relieve my stress and make it the perfect evening. I will never be able to re-pay them for their selfless service in my behalf, but I can pay it forward by returning the favor and seeking for opportunities to serve at least one person each day. One of my favorite scriptures in the Book of Mormon comes from King Benjamin, “When ye are in the service of your fellow beings yea are only in the service of your God.”

At the end of each day, may we ask ourselves this question, “What have I done for someone today?”

Until next time,

Friday, August 3, 2012

The Final Product

Photo Courtesy of BP Designer Portraits

Today's post compares the original picture with the final outcome. This is all I had to work with, no side views, no close up details . . . just the view from the front - and fuzzy at that. The fuzziness could just be my tired old eyes! : )

As you can see, there is a considerable height difference between the model and my daughter . . . I'm guessing at least a foot or more!

The bodice is totally different, at her request, but I think the skirt is pretty close.

It still amazes me how much time, effort, sacrifice, work, and money we spend on this one day in our lives, and the lives of our children when they get married! However, when looking at it with an Eternal perspective, it is one of the most important decisions we will ever make. With that in mind, it deserves the grand celebrations we dream up to celebrate this blessed sacred day. 

Weddings can be a stressful time for all involved. It's important to keep an eye single to the true purpose behind this one, temporal event, entwined with so much spiritual meaning.

President Gordon B. Hinckley came up with some amazing quotes in his lifetime. Some of my favorites are about marriage. I really miss him! I'm grateful we have so much to remember him by. I've chosen to share a few of them here, as no one can say it better than he did!

"True love is not so much a matter of romance as it is a matter of anxious concern for the well being of ones companion." 

"In all of living, have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured."

"Anyone who imagines that bliss is normal is going to waste a lot of time running around shouting that he's been robbed. The fact is that most putts don’t drop, most beef is tough, most children grow up to just be people, most successful marriages require a high degree of mutual toleration, most jobs are more often dull than otherwise. Life is like an old time rail journey ... delays...sidetracks, smoke, dust, cinders and jolts, interspersed only occasionally by beautiful vistas and thrilling bursts of speed. The trick is to thank the Lord for letting you have the ride."

"It isn't as bad as you sometimes think it is. It all works out. Don't worry. I say that to myself every morning. It all works out in the end. Put your trust in God, and move forward with faith and confidence in the future. The Lord will not forsake us. He will not forsake us. If we will put our trust in Him, if we will pray to Him, if we will live worthy of His blessings, He will hear our prayers." (This was printed on Sister Marjorie Pay Hinckley's funeral program)

~Gordon B. Hinckley

Until next time,