Praying For...Sammy and Eliana...that they will be happy, healthy, respectful, safe, scholarly, and faithful...that they will be spared the tragedies and deprivations of this world or at least oblivious to them as so many children in loving families are sheltered from war and poverty in this way...that they will love their neighbors and pray for their enemies as Jesus taught and vice versa...that leaders of nations will make choices that strengthen families and protect liberty...that their communities will protect strive to childhood, promote education over indoctrination, and grow gardens instead of cultivating incivility.
Jesus' Word..."After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen." Matthew 6:9-13. Whenever I feel stuck during my prayers, I sing this scripture. No, it's not exactly like reciting a prayer, but it reminds me of things I should include in my prayers. Also, using a prayer journal seems to help me focus my attention. Lately, Henry B. Eyring taught about preparing with a journal. My paraphrased version of his teachings are as follows. Take the time to prepare for prayers, which encourages two-way communication. Invite the Spirit with hymns and scripture reading. Prepare to pray each day with a prayer journal. Write down thoughts from hymn and scripture time, then list blessings, people in need, people that affect me, interesting or important incidents, questions I need answered, and prayers answered the day before. While praying, pay attention to how the Holy Ghost guides my thoughts and words. Record experiences from that prayer. So far this has been very effective.
Bibliophilia...re-reading lots of Marrin history adventures. He sure does make events come to life. Also, re-reading DonQuixote and Portrait of a Lady. Enjoying the free history, government, economics, and literature lectures offered by Hillsdale College as well as working with a particular mentoring student who shows great promise.
Time With Family...I've seen quite a bit of family in the last week. Visited Grandma twice. Attended the open house and did lunch with both parents and their respective spouses on different days. Hope to take Aunt Dean, Aunt Yvonne, and Grandma to the open house tomorrow but that is still up in the air. It's nice to be close enough to visit often. Spoke with Spencer and Emily several times in the last couple weeks. Might have another opportunity to sit with Emily's kids in December. Glad she trusts me to care for them. Talked with Gracie, Nikki, and Jason recently. I love my family. Things couldn't be better unless we were all in the same area.
Nature News...this morning we walked at dawn, which we love to do here most days. On a street light and nearby roof, we saw two Great Horned Owls. When the first flew off, we weren't sure what it was but knew it was large by the wingspan. Respectfully, the other one stayed put to allow us to observe and identify. It's flight over the housetops was majestic.
Garden Gate...yesterday was a wonderful day. After an early morning temple session, we headed even further east to a tropical nursery. There I purchased two mature gogi bushes and a curry tree. On impulse we bought a year old moringa and wish we had bought a couple more. True, we have several started in the window, but now we have the chance to eat drumsticks from our own tree in a couple months. At least we'll have plenty greens next year. With gogi berries at $26 a pound and powdered greens about the same, it makes lots of sense to grow my own. Talking to the fruit expert helped me solidify my garden plan. Store bought fruit can't hold a candle to fresh from the tree a minute ago back yard fruit. To me, if a plant doesn't give flowers or food (or help others that do), it is pretty useless. Digging up the horrid oleanders will be a pleasure. Woo Hoo!
Cucina Fresca...no cooking this week except some pinto beans and veggie broth in the sun oven...stove is broken and awaiting repair man tomorrow. Ate lots of salads, fruit, and green drinks plus a few microwaved potatoes.
Movement...absolutely LOVE hula hooping. It's much harder than I remember but a very fun way to whittle that old belly. Walking and ginjoga are still enjoyable. However, when the gardener came over and pruned a citrus tree in about 30 seconds, I decided to let him do all the heavy sort of work like that in the future. It took me 3+ hours to take the top off the grapefruit without even getting to shaping the sides. He is so experienced; he can do that sort of thing in his sleep. So...I'll design the plan and do light pruning, but I'll let him dig the holes and do the heavy pruning. That way I won't end up in bed for days after overworking myself.