Today brought two separate unexpected moments of awareness on our part to serve and an extra bonus.
Acts of kindness and service are dear to me and my family. Since I live in a small college town where most of the students moved here from another state or even country to attend school, I’ve had the opportunity to be a substitute mom for a few moments for some of these random students. Sometimes I’ve been contacted by their parents or the parents’ friends to help and sometimes a spontaneous moment is presented to me to help. With each case it’s a blessing for us as well and never done with any expectation of acknowledgement or reward. (Well - - rarely . . . I’m sure my kids have had a few “natural man” times in hopes of a token of a treat. We are truly hard-core sugar lovers.)
Today brought two separate unexpected moments of awareness on our part to serve and an extra bonus.
The first came when my oldest son, Ryan Spencer, and I were running errands in our family suburban. We just pulled into our banking parking lot to get some belated birthday cash to add to cards we just bought. He chose to stay in the vehicle with the windows unrolled and I got out to go in. That’s when the two bicyclists and their baby carriage got my attention. It was a young couple and the husband looked like he was making some kind repairs on it. I continued to go in and do my stuff but had the thought come to me that if they were still out there when I was done I should offer help to drive them with their bikes. Sure enough - they were still working on the bike. They had moved out of the small parking lot area but were just at the end of the parking lot near the sidewalk. They assured they didn’t need a ride but if I had tools it’d help them get on their way faster. I told them that I just might as I remembered we had a roadside assistance kit in the back so we all went over to my suburban. I climbed in the back and woohoo we had tools to fix their problem.
When we got home I discovered an unexpected package in our mailbox. Upon opening it I discovered a thank you note and a small package of double stuff white fudge covered Oreos! The card was from an out of town family friend who asked us earlier in the month if we could help get their daughter some bottled water. The parents forgot to get some while dropping off their student who wouldn’t be left with a vehicle. It wasn’t a big deal for us but for the student she was extremely happy. My kids will be happy to have this surprise treat for Sunday night dessert when we all get together. - - - so to the Burrs; thank you too.
Our second act of service came to my husband when he was walking to his truck after work. He noticed a gentleman whose car won’t start. The gentleman had jumper cables but they observed that our jumper cables were newer and higher quality. (In the past from some of our misfortunes we learned that the quality of the cables matter.) As I understand, the gentleman both thanked him for helping and apologized for being willing to stay later than planned in his same breath.
It was fun to help someone and it made it even better to discover when my husband came home that we both without any plan saw and helped someone in need today.
March 26 - If you think education is expensive, you should try ignorance.
The gift of thought needs application and work to truly function to it's potential. I've found the monetary value of traditional schooling that we pay someone to learn doesn't compare to the loss when I can't figure out how to do D.I.Y.things, or be able to grow through the desire to self educate myself, or humble myself to be corrected. Our spirit, will, and education are part of just a few things we can keep with us after death. So I'm glad that my parents and teachers introduced me to resources like dictionaries, scriptures, and prayer so I could learn how to do the things that are placed before me.
March 25th - I have never been hurt by anything I didn't say.
I couldn't wrap my brain around what this message really means or understand why someone would state that they never have been hurt other than what they said. The only thing I can grasp is maybe this could be a motivational thought about being brave to speak out. Either way, I'd like to hear other opinions about this quote.
March 23rd - Spend your time making things happen.
Time is funny. It seems like when were having fun - it goes by fast, but when were bored or anticipating something - it goes by slow. The only guaranteed part of time is that each and every day has 24 hours in it. Don't let it control you. Make time work for you.
March 22nd - The best things in life are not things.
Some of the first non-things that come to mind are: God, family, friends, love, kindness, obedience, loyalty, service, and knowledge. I'm sure I could come up with a nice long list with some help and extra thought. Isn't it a wonderful gift to be able to stop and think about all the wonderful things and non-things we have all around us? What do you think? What non-things would you add?
One sign of maturing age is the realization that the world doesn't revolve around you. Sometimes this can seem like sad news, but with perspective we don't have to worry too much about what others think about us nor solely do and get everything our way. One sure way to help our confidence regarding peer pressure and worrying about what others think is to develop moral values. If we seek to draw closer to God and follow a moral compass, then we can find more happiness without thought of what others may or may not think about us.
March 21st thought for the day - You probably would not worry about what people think of you if you knew how seldom they did.
Try this tip for getting places in life - with or without a leprechaun. March 17th inspirational thought - The way to get anywhere is to start from where you are.
Too simple? Well, then look for some more advanced tips, quotes, and inspiration to spur you on from my other daily thoughts and quotes in my blog at pleasingiftbaskets.com . Have fun.
March 15th thought - Do not pray for tasks equal to your powers. Pray for powers equal to your tasks. Then the doing of your work will be no miracle, but you shall be the miracle.
March 14th - If you start soon enough, you won't have to run so fast to catch up.
Whether we know it or not, we have already entered the race so start now and keep starting again if you fall down. Aim to master your personal best race time. Just keep getting back up and don't delay to get back in there. We all can win.
March 12th words to live by. . .
Socrates: "Know yourself."
Cicero: "Control yourself."
Christ: "Give yourself."
March 11th inspirational thought - Trust in the Lord with all thine heart, and lean not unto thine own understanding; in all ways acknowledge Him and He shall direct thy paths.
I went to take a picture of my thought for March 6th and discovered that page was missing. It must have accidentally ripped off at some time and fell out from among all the other thoughts and quotes. So today I choose to include one of my favorite poem/hymns from Samuel Longfellow entitled Go Forth To Life. I have this hung up in my dining room for my family's roaming eyes to discover and read while they eat. For this picture, I printed a new page for the photo because the original had some scribbles, stains, and rips.
I discovered his writings when I was researching authors for a college English assignment in 2011. I connected with his writings because I like nature, poems, hymns, music, spiritual insights, and religion. During that time of my research it was very difficult to find information on him and his works. An example of a common problem to research him was that his more famous brother Henry Wadsworth Longfellow kept coming up instead. On a internet search I could only begin to find Samuel after at least page 10 in the search results. I privately brag to my family that the internet has gotten smarter and/or Samuel has gotten popular because of all my searching and my work. Now, if you search for Samuel Longfellow he comes up on page one.
Anyway, in my studies I discovered that Samuel Longfellow went to school to become a reverend and most of his writings were religious hymns. He was a religious man and a good poet but his poems were not fully accepted beyond hymns because of the political implications his beliefs represented.
In this class after we submitted our research paper, we were asked to create a child's storybook as our final in class assignment. Take a look and tell me your thoughts in the comments box.
Rear view mirrors & timelines help us progress safely without turning around.
March 5 thought for the day is . . . If you look back too much, you will soon be headed that way.
I happily got this timeline that I saw in a magazine when I was in high school. I remember begging my mom for it and she firmly said no, so I was totally surprised when she presented it to me. One of the things that I like about this besides it's massive size and historical connectivity is that it includes religious history as well. It includes Adam, Noah and the great flood through time to the late 1980's when this was bought.
For as long as I can remember I've liked timelines. They give me a visual understanding of how events are connected. As this thought for the day implies, it's good to know what's behind you and what has happened in order to gain perspective to determine our future and progress. We just must remember and realize that remembering and thinking about the past is only healthy to the extent of helping us in the now and future to improve. Life wan't designed with a time machine but we were given a savior who atoned for our sins which allows us to erase our mistakes and gives us a path to move forward toward happiness and our Father in Heaven. Today is just one day and there is always a tomorrow.
Janet Burrup Spencer
Writing about myself here reminds me of all my English assignments at the beginning of the school year were I had to write an essay about myself or one of those get-to-know you socials where everyone has to say several new & interesting things about themselves. I never did get smart and save my answers to use them again. For some reason I always feel hesitant and at times unclear about what I should say about myself that would be interesting. So this is me at a glimpse: I grew up in Rockville, Maryland - went to Wheaton High School - went to Ricks College - met my husband while at school - am a mother of six children - live in Rexburg, Idaho - received my associates' degree from BYU-I in 2011 - actively a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints - actively volunteer in the Boy Scouts of America program in Cub Scouts - and like to organize and create things.