My Thoughts 

As I reflect on the Summer I have nothing but gratitude for the time I have had with family and friends, places I have seen, people I have met and most of all the love that exists in the world.  I know there is an element of evil out there as well.  What happened in Virginia yesterday is evidence of the ugliness and hate that can lash out.  I think we most often find the thing we seek in this world.  We tend to find the best or worst out there depending on us.  I cannot guarantee evil may never strike at us, but I believe we have given ourselves the greatest shelter we can by not seeking it out.  Not a single person would have been harmed yesterday if they had not been there.  There would have been no protests had ignorant people not been demanding statues be removed.  It all begins with hate and intolerance.  We as a people should focus our energy on things more meaningful.  Service, time with loved ones, yard work, the beach, mountains, sand dunes, or hundreds of other activities.  Until we reject hate absolutely this is society.  

Here are three ways you can protect yourself and those you care about.  1. Be tolerant of others.  Being tolerant does not necessarily mean you agree, but an attitude of tolerance does bring greater patience and understanding.  We live in a world of diverse ideas, cultures and people.  Diversity is and can be beautiful.  The truth is we have more in common than our differences.  When we actually seek to understand what is important to each other it is amazing how easy it is to find solutions.  2. Avoid protests and demonstrations.  People that attend these events are not there to be peaceful.  These activities have been usurped by extremists and that much passion and hate tends to radicalize people very quickly.  Is there any wonder why so much violence has erupted and damage to property that results?  These events are about anarchy.  You have the greatest chance of being hurt just by showing up.  3. Don’t buy into the media.  The doom they report on does not bring joy, hope or peace. It really is quite stressful and depressing.  We have it in us to change the world.  Decide on what you can do.  We may not have the reach to change the world for all but we can absolutely change it for one person.  One family.  One neighborhood.  One ward.  One City.  It is up to us.  Hope is demanding to be let out.  When we as a society reject hate and choose Charity, evil will have no hold on us.  

Mindset 

I saw this and it has really bothered me.  Although it nails the current mindset of humanity, is it right?  My understanding is doing something kind for someone else isn’t a conditional act.  If you are looking for praise I am not sure the intent is right.  I personally believe that acts of service tend to do as much or more for our own good than those we serve.  If our attitude isn’t right how easily we can be offended.  We are all a bit broken in this life.  The world has the capacity to beat us pretty good.  Some people don’t know how to express appreciation.  They may not even recognize it or may question your intent as it is so unfamiliar to them. They may be past feeling.  Kindness though has an incredible power to melt the hearts of the bitter given time.  Look at the great story of the Grinch.  The Whos still found Joy and Love and Kindness.  More than enough that the Grinch’s heart grew two sizes that day.  I know it is a made up story, but one that happens often.  Never give up on kindness. Never use an excuse and withhold service because someone is ungrateful.  It may save you both in the end.  

Christmas 2016

We are back at the Homestead in Idaho.  My Mom and Daddy arrived today.  Things are pretty perfect.  There have been so many Christmas Miracles this year I have just felt awe and gratitude.  May you all enjoy a wonderful Christmas. 

One of my favorite songs from The Forgoiten Carols I have included here in the link below.  May it touch your heart as much as my own.  My gift to each of you.

Let Him In 

Christmas 2016

Reflection

It has been a difficult week for us.  Despite the joy of having a missionary out the adjustment has been challenging.  I wanted to give myself a few days to reflect and think about what I wanted to share about this experience.  Today I wanted to talk about my appreciation.  It was humbling to have so many people from Utah join us for his farewell.  His former coach, YM leader, our Bishop, some close friends, neighbors and some of his closest friends that are still home.  It was a surprise to him when they showed up.  He wasn’t expecting it.  Took some planning on our part to keep it a surprise but I am glad he was able to share the day with those he loves.  A move a couple of months before leaving is never an easy thing.  He has been a Champ but this was so right.  His talk was incredible.  He picked a topic we have often discussed and I was in awe hearing him speak.  Incredible to see your children become the teacher.  It was a good day.  A celebration mixed with many bouts of tears for this mom.  Grateful for the many hugs and kind words.  ❤️