I'm back to long days of retirement to purposely fill with meaningful activities. Although I will miss the joyful activity of teaching for a season, I know I made the best decision.
“A [woman] only begins to be [great] when [she] ceases to whine and revile, and commences to search for the hidden justice which regulates [her] life. And [she] adapts [her] mind to that regulating factor, [she] ceases to accuse others as the cause of [her] condition, and builds [herself] up in strong and noble thoughts; ceases to kick against circumstances, but begins to use them as aids to [her] more rapid progress, and as a means of the hidden powers and possibilities within [herself]," James Allen, As a Man Thinketh.
A year ago last October, I began keeping a paper prayer/scripture journal, a habit that dramatically improved my prayer life. Lately, writing has become more difficult again. Because my arthritis is caused by reactions to food allergens, I must have a new, still unknown allergen. Too stiff to write by hand, my journaling will take a new/old direction again; I plan to keep my gospel study journal on this blog. While I know I probably only have no readers on this passe forum anymore, blogging continues to be a meaningful backdrop for journal keeping for me. Now that I know the power of writing prayers, I'm glad that I can also have a private blog, a closet if you will, to write out my daily prayers.
Beginning January 1, I plan to center my devotions around scripture with these resources as study guides, journaling on this blog as the Spirit guides.
1. General Conference-Talk (Sermon) of the Week
2. Treasures from the Book of Mormon series (I'm nearly through the second volume of four.)
3. Teachings of Presidents of the Church: Howard W. Hunter
4. Church History-Fire in the Bones: William Tyndale, Martyr, Father of the English Bible
by S. Michael Wilcox AND Fires of Faith: The Coming Forth of the King James Bible
by Lee Groberg, Mark Goodman, Mitch Davis
5. How to Read the Bible as Literature by Leland Ryken and The Art of Biblical Narrative by Robert Alter...Sadly, I waited too long to take the Bible Lit course from BYU online, as it's been discontinued. Even though I worked through it and quizzed S during his turn, I didn't get the benefit of my own in depth study...oh the sacrifices of mothers.
My intentions this year are also to focus on some secular learning. After caring for relatives with Alzheimer's, I've learned one way to stave off dementia is to keep the mind active. With my tendency to procrastinate or peter-out, I decided online university courses with their expectations, deadlines, and financial commitment are my only hope. I can take courses until the cows come home in so many areas.
1. It's been years, since I taught higher maths. This knowledge is slipping from my cranium. With that in mind, I intend to go through all the Video Text course as well as RightStart Geometry again. After that if I'm still of a mind, I might seek out online calculus courses.
2. I want enroll in an online literature, biology, chemistry, and history course or two as well. So much of what I studied years ago is melting out of my memory.
4. These along with exercising, playing with Dash, cooking great food, keeping house, church and temple worship, researching (or compiling) family history, and writing my latest lousy novel should keep me plenty busy.
5. Perhaps, my greatest goal is to see people differently than before. Instead of always finding fault, I'd like to adopt this attitude. "It is a serious thing to live in a society of possible gods and goddesses, to remember that the dullest and most uninteresting person you talk to may one day be a creature which, if you saw it now, you would be strongly tempted to worship, or else a horror and a corruption such as you now meet, if at all, only in a nightmare. All day long we are, in some degree, helping each other to one or other of these destinations. It is in the light of these overwhelming possibilities, it is with the awe and the circumspection proper to them, that we should conduct all our dealings with one another, all friendships, all loves, all play, all politics. There are no 'ordinary' people. You have never talked to a mere mortal. Nations, cultures, arts, civilisations -- these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whome we joke with, work with, marry, snub and exploit -- immortal horrors or everlasting splendours. This does not mean that we are to be perpetually solemn. We must play. But our merriment must be of that kind (and it is, in fact, the merriest kind) which exists between people who have, from the outset, taken each other seriously -- no flippancy, no superiority, no presumption. And our charity must be a real and costly love, with deep feeling for the sins in spite of which we love the sinner -- no mere tolerance or indulgence which parodies love as flippancy parodies merriment," C. S. Lewis, The Weight of Glory. I imagine this is the way God views His children.