I couldn’t decide on a title for this post, so I used both, because both fit my day today. Although yesterday was a bit of a down day, today has been great, and promises to even get better. So what made the difference?
Well, first off when I woke up, I didn’t have a headache. My sinuses didn’t hurt and I wasn’t all congested. That helped A LOT.
Second, I loved seminary. Today we played a game where I gave them a scripture clue and they had to write the answer on a white board. They worked in pairs and when they had the answer, they held their boards up for me to see. After a few rounds, my daughter and her partner held up their board and it said, “We love you!” I replied, “I love that answer! You can have an extra point!” Next a boy held up his board that said, “Seminary is awesome!” Of course I gave and extra point for that as well. Soon all the students were writing me little love notes that they would hold up with their answers. One said, “I am cool, but my teacher is cooler!” another, “We love our teacher!” One young man, who refused to participate, felt inclined to inform me, “They are just sucking up.” I answered, “I know! And I’m okay with that!”
I loved it, actually. I know they were only trying to get extra points, but it was still fun. I told them this was my favorite game we have played so far because it was such a self-esteem boost for me. And it also reminded me that small expressions of love and appreciation (even if they might not be 100% sincere) are very powerful things that lift our spirits and brighten our days. Not only did I get a good laugh from it, but my students enjoyed it as well.
Later I went visiting teaching with my new partner Michelle. Michelle and I worked in young women’s together 24 years ago in another ward and stake. Over the course of time we ended up in a stake together again, and now, with her recent move, we are once again in the same ward. And even better, we are visiting teaching companions. I love Michelle and I love the three women we visit. I very much enjoyed being with them and being able to serve them. And so lesson number two for me today was a reminder of what great joy comes into our lives through service to others.
But today was especially sweet for me. I had a certain sister on my mind and had been thinking I needed to invite her to attend the temple with me. Her husband is not active in the church so he is not available to go with her. Michelle was recently called as a special temple patron and has been asked to attend each week. I wanted to go with Michelle, and we invited this dear sister to go with us. After asking her if she would like to come, she said, “Yes! I have been praying the Lord would send me someone I could attend the temple with.” So, lesson number three . . . if we listen, the spirit will guide us.
I returned home just in time to welcome my own visiting teachers into my house. But before joining them I made a quick trip to the bathroom. I returned, listened to their lesson and walked them to the door to say goodbye. As they were leaving, I reached behind me and noticed things just were not right. My skirt was tucked up into my underwear! Yes, I was slightly mortified. But lesson number four . . . don’t take yourself too seriously. I was embarrassed, but I also got a good laugh out of it.
I have been thinking about why today has brought me such joy when yesterday I was in such doldrums. I think it certainly has to do with a lot of good things happening today. But I also think it is in part what I have chosen to focus on. Yesterday I was determined to be miserable, and although many good things happened, I held strong to my misery. I was not to be deterred. I had earned a pity day and I was taking it. But today I have focused on the good, and in so doing I have been surrounded by it. And so lesson number five . . . whatever it is we are looking for, we will probably find. If you are looking for bad in a person, situation, event etc., you will most certainly find it, but if you focus on the good, you will find that as well, and good will always bring . . . joy to your journey.