A joy report.

After all those serious posts the last few days about how January bites and the world is falling apart, I realized that those of you who just started visiting recently probably think I’m kind of a downer.  I’m lucky enough to know that most of the rest of you who have been around for a while know me a little better and can just roll your eyes and think:  She’ll be over it in a couple days.

So here’s a report about some things that are making me happy lately.

Last weekend, we went to St. George.  Matt took the kids and hung out with his dad, and I stayed by myself all day to write.  I’ve been working on a book for a while, but I really needed some alone time to catch up.  It was wonderful.  I learned so much and wrote a lot, and honestly felt the Spirit a lot.  It was a great dose of invigoration.

I’m sure a small part of my writing success was due to having these on hand:

Next: I like to give parties.  I am not a really good party giver because I never take the time to scan Pinterest or Google for ideas to make my parties all they could be.  I don’t really decorate or craft or do much of anything for parties because I kind of feel like great company is what makes a good party (plus I’m lazy).  I just like to create an excuse for people to get together and then I like to enjoy those people.  So for the last two years, I’ve planned some kind of girls’ night out for February (probably to recover from January).  These February girls’ nights seem to have a recurring theme.  Last year, a group of us went to see the play Persuasion at BYU. And eat of course.  The year before, I did something I loved in Minnesota called a J.A.M. party:  A Jane Austen Marathon.  It was so fun, and since I obviously don’t get sick of Jane Austen, I’m going to do it again this year.  So if you live near Happy Valley in Utah, or are willing to drive that direction, you’re officially invited to J.A.M. Party 2012.  Here is a geographical hint.  (I’m so cryptic.)

The party is not actually in this building, because, well, that would just be silly, but it gives you an approximate location.  It will be February 24th.  We will watch Persuasion, Sense & Sensibility, and Pride & Prejudice, all in a glorious row.  And eat of course.  Email me if you want more details (address is on the sidebar in the “Nice to meet you” paragraph).  Once I have used my superpowers to determine you are not a creep, I’ll give them to you (the details, not my actual superpowers).  So anyway, yay! I’m excited about that.

Moving on.  I have been loving the Ensign and general conference, but duh.  You already knew that about me.

You may have noticed that in the aforementioned overly-serious posts, I used the word “hard” a lot.  Today I  drove Natalie to gymnastics.  She was recently invited to be in a higher-level class which is, obviously, more difficult.  She’s only been a few times, and she has a little anxiety about it.  It’s not as easy and carefree as her little preschool gymnastics were, so she tried to convince me that she doesn’t like it.  The thing is, I know she does like it.  She does cartwheels, roundoffs, handsprings, etc. around my house endlessly.  She loves it when people watch her and tell her how great she is.  She’s just nervous about the new class.  So I started reassuring her in all the ways I knew how, trying to build her confidence.  I said, “Here’s one thing I know about you:  You can do hard things, and you are smart and strong.”  She held back a grin and stared out the window.  When we arrived at the gym, her nerves returned and she didn’t want to go in.  I helped her change into her leotard.  “No peeking,” I said, and then I grabbed a pen and took her hands.

While we walked into the gym, she kept looking at her hands and giggling.  I told her to look at her hands every time she felt nervous in her class.

Then I started thinking some more on the way home about the stuff I already wrote about.  And I started giving myself my own lecture.  “I can do hard things, too.”  I remembered that Sister Dalton talked about that once, so I looked it up and found it.

Last general conference, I was called by President Monson to be the new Young Women general president. As I stood in the presence of a prophet of God and was given this sacred trust, I pledged that I would serve with all my heart, might, mind, and strength. Prior to this calling, I had a small plate inscribed with a motto that read, “I can do hard things.” That little plate bearing that simple motto gave me courage. But now if I could change that motto, it would read: “In the strength of the Lord, I can do all things.” 

And then I did something that will amaze you.  I made a printable. Or quote, or whatever.  I don’t know the real terms.  I only have the skill to make things out of Microsoft Word and Google Images, so if any of you have some old version of Photoshop you want to give away for Valentines Day, you know who to call.  Anyway, here it is:

(I was thinking about that one quote about not crashing your heart on the rocks of grief.)  So now that quote is making me happy, too.

Last item on the joy report:  I’m going to the temple tonight.  All those people I’m worried about are going right on the prayer roll, and Heavenly Father is going to take care of them.

How about you?  What’s making you happy these days?


23 thoughts on “A joy report.

  1. Love that idea of writing those messages on your daughters hands. My son started a new year of school today and was a little nervous, so maybe I will use that on him tomorrow. Its good to think and talk about the happy things in your life sometimes. We ALL tend to focus on the bad things too much, but that is because we need help in those areas. Your parties sound like fun. If I was hosting a movie marathon party I would pick Anne of Green Gables I think. Although Ghost Whisperer is good too. Or Lord of the Rings (no that would be too long), maybe Work and the Glory trilogy. LOL, too many too choose from. 🙂

  2. Love what you wrote on your daughter’s hands. Like Jo, my daughter is starting school….but for the first time. So, this will be great to use!

    Would love to do a Jane Austen-athon! Jealous ;P

  3. Reading this is making me happy, and so was watching the glimpse of pink behind the gray clouds as I opened the blinds this morning, and thinking of the yummy dinner I’m going to make for my wonderful husband tonight. (He’ll love a newly made recipe after three days of leftovers! So will I.) I’ll keep looking for things to make me happy, and you can too 🙂

  4. I love that saying and am always telling my kids that we can do hard things. Next time I’m going to write it on their hands. You are brilliant!
    And I wish I lived closer and could come.
    The sun shine and the wonderful warm winter we are having makes me happy.

  5. Keep looking for the like button. I love the hands…love it when we do everything we can do and that last flash of inspiration does the trick. That picture is inspirational–you can see in her eyes she believes it.

  6. “You can do hard things” is my favorite thing to say to my 4 year old. He is a little bit dramatic (I wonder where he gets that?) and he has a hard time doing things that don’t come easily to him (which is sometimes a lot of things).

    Sometimes he’ll tell me “But this isn’t hard! I just can’t do it!” because I say “You can do hard things” so often 🙂 so he thinks that if he says it is “easy” he won’t have to do it!

    Last night my husband said our 4 year old has the “smart-alecky-ness” of a 10 year old… I think he’s right…

  7. Hi Stephanie, 🙂 I, too have had to do some hard things as of late (only, my schedule is a little sooner than yours). I tell myself and my kids the same thing… “We can do hard things!” I love life. I love how hard things make us strong! I love how even though I would like to beg for hard things to go away, I always end up thanking God for them later!!! 😀 Heavenly Father loves us sooo much. I know if we trust in Him and just do the best we can to do His will with a willing heart “it will all be worth it!”
    I’m so glad you, too, are getting a breather and finding joy in the journey! 😀
    Corine 😀

  8. Awesome! I have been procrasinating making a sign for our homeschool room that says “I can do hard things” because…it will be hard… hee hee…Ok I’ll get it done today! Have a great and peaceful time at the temple!

  9. a. OK, what on EARTH is that advertisement? I’m scared of it. 🙂
    b. It’s so important to find the tiny joys. I think it’s worse when its for someone else though. You just ache for them, with nothing to do but pray.
    You are a good friend.

  10. I am so bummed that I can’t make to your JAM party. Sounds like fun.

    What is making me happy now is that I just signed the closing papers on my old house in another state. This is an answers to many prayers and I can’t believe that it is finally happening! Yeah!

    The temple makes me happy too. In all the drama of my life, I can almost feel it inside of me when it is time to go again–like my spiritual tank is on low and the light in blinking. I have had friends tell me that they’ve put my name on the prayer roll at times and it has really touched me. I’m sure it will benefit the people you’re worried about too.

    Hope you have more happy things this weekend!

  11. I’ve been lurking on your blog for awhile now. I don’t even remember how I came across it but I am so grateful I did! My life has not turned out as I envisioned and I’ve been trying very hard to make it a life well-lived nonetheless. This post, in particular, has been an inspiration that I really needed. I’ve been so touched by what you told your little girl. This weekend I had the opportunity to do some things I’ve always wanted to do but have been afraid of doing. All I could see was your little girl’s hands and hear “I can do hard things!” It got me through! Thank you for sharing!

  12. I liked you Joy Report. I liked your idea to help your little girl and your poster. And if I can, I would like to go to your JAM party. So send me more details (diane.ect@gmail.com).

  13. Love the idea of a JAM party. Have you heard of the Jane Austin Society(JASNA)? They have one in Salt Lake. I wasn’t aware of it either until a good friend said she and her husband were going to the Regency Romance Ball…What’s that? Now my husband & and I are going too. They put on a Ball…just like in all the Jane Austin books. People dress up in period clothing and have an English style formal feast and learn some period dances and have a great evening together. It sounded like so much fun and a wonderful thing to rid myself of the winter blahs! ….My husband didn’t even have a problem with going. I invited him with a formal invitation (via email) and asked him to be my special guest. The anticipation has brought back some much needed romance into our relationship! Check it out at: http://utahjaneites.org/

  14. Love it all.

    Except that I will be nowhere near that particular geographical location on February 24th.

    I’m copying you and making a joy list, because I’m still in the blahs. Of course, I win for the most snow of anyone who reads your blog. (I think.)

  15. I need to write those things on my hands every morning, and maybe add ‘be nice’ too. Thanks for the smile today- I love love love your blog.

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