Thursday, August 20, 2009

A Tribute to My Birthday Friend

Ever since I can remember, I would tell people that Elder Monson was my favorite apostle. Why? Because we have the same birthday. Now that he's the prophet, others are recognizing this tie as well.

As a tribute to him, I have spent the last two days doing just what he asked of us in October 2008, "Finding Joy in the Journey."
That talk has touched me, made me realize that if I hate change, I'm going to hate a lot of what life throws at me. These last few weeks I've wallowed in the pity party. But no more.

Joy is more than happy. It is an eternal, peaceful emotion that doesn't dissolve pain, but makes the pain bearable.

As it says in Psalms 30:5, "weeping may endure for the night, but joy cometh in the morning."
Today's my morning.
So, here's a list, all in random order and definitely not all-encompassing, of what has brought me joy these last two days.

The temple and my eternal companion. Although I'm really not feeling super great today, just attending the temple with the one I love was a joyful experience. And to have it six minutes away is truly a blessing for our family.

The world's greatest friends and family. From kind comments on my blog to texts and phone calls to notes in the mail and lunch and ice cream and truly thoughtful gifts, I have the best friends ever around me. And I appreciate all you've done to help me through this difficult time. Friendship is a joy that I try to never take for granted, since having good friends is not a gift I've enjoyed all my life. Thank you all from me for bringing such joy to my life.

Lily's violin. Watching Lily with her new violin has been joyous for me. She begged for two years to play, and now that she finally has one, it's out of the case and in her hands as frequently as she can manage. Does she even know one note yet? No. Had one lesson? No. But the joy on her face as she explores her instrument is beautiful.

Hyrum's bubbles. I wish I'd had the camera out yesterday. Hyrum has an automatic bubble maker, shaped like an alligator, that he loves. We spent 15 minutes out on the back patio yesterday, just blowing bubbles and watching Roxy-dog try to catch and pop them. When Hyrum thought that looked like a good idea, he was disappointed to find that bubbles taste like soap!

Feeling a baby move inside you. This never gets old for me. No matter what time of the day or night, I revel in this private world. I'm looking forward to meeting the little Gummy Bear, but I only have less than eighty days left to ever feel that again in my life. What a miracle. What a blessing. What pure joy.

Serving in Young Women. I love to watch the youth of the Church. They all try to do the right thing in a difficult world. I helped my Laurels make cinnamon rolls last night, and even though it was exhausting, I feed off the energy of these girls. Plus, my Beehives surprised me with a few "old lady" gifts and a delicious plate of chocolate chip cookies. What could be better?

Long phone calls and texts from Rexburg. No explanation required.

Funny stories and compliments from Tucker's seminary teacher. He thought Tucker was sad about some girl this week (funny how rumors start!). I told him about Angelo, and he understood, then he told me how impressed he was with Tucker's explanation of the Plan of Salvation in seminary that morning. Gospel knowledge and testimony in your kids is one of life's greatest joys.

Micah's first week of kindergarten. There is nothing more wonderful than watching your child enjoy school.

Waking Ben up in the morning. Ben has got to be the wildest sleeper in the world. And it's one of life's simple joys to walk in in the morning to discover him asleep between the bed and the wall, or find that he's completely flipped around backwards and drooling. Simple things. Simple joys.

Thanks, President Monson.
Epiphany #87--Life changes, but the joys in life are ever-present.
Happy Birthday tomorrow, my friend. If you'd like to join me in my tribute to him, read his talk, then take time to recognize the simple joys in your life.


  1. So I guess this means that tomorrow is YOUR birthday, too. And I hope you have a wonderful one!


    PS. And you're right. You have much to be grateful for in your journey, and I admire the fact that you are able to count your blessings when it would be just as easy to dwell on the hardships right now. In fact, you've inspired me to go back and read Pres. Monson's talk again!

  2. Twelve hours from now it will be forty years since I was busy delivering one of the greatest joys of my journey. You have brought a huge amount of joy to me from the minute you were born. It's a wonder that any first babies survive their mother's inexperience, but you seemed to weather being the experimental child with great aplomb. Soon you will have twice the children I had and I expect you will have twice the joys. As we all know, the heartache comes with the joy, and you have had ample experience with that, too. I hope you have the greatest birthday of your life. (Even better than your sixteenth.)


  3. Well I can say Happy birthday my friend. It is officially your day and I hope you spent it doing things you enjoy. I love you and have thought of you so often this week. Your strong. Happy Birthday big 40!!!!!!

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  5. Happy Birthday my friend!! Hope it is fabulous...and after your mom's comment I think the story of the 16th birthday needs to be told. May your day be as wonderful as you are!

  6. Happy Birthday! Hope today goes well and you don't creak more than yesterday!!

    There is no such thing as Thirty-ten

  7. Happy Happy birthday. I disagree with Karen. I am thirty ten and one. May you not need the beehive's gifts for another 30 years! Grab a cookie, put your feet up, and breath deeply. Mmmmmm it's your day!

  8. Cindy - that would be thiry-eleven. Me, I am 29 and a few months (you just don't have to say 153 months) :)

    PS: Heidi - add my email to your blog list so I can enjoy too.