Tuesday, February 12, 2013
Happy Valentines Day ---- A Day of Roses
I know a special friend, who sufferers from depression, MS, and a multiple of other health problems. She does her best every day to deal with her problems, however at times they get the best of her. Several years back, when she was in her 20's, she became so depressed that she made yet another attempt at suicide. Her mother, for some reason, and who was older, did her best to keep her suicide attempts quiet, because she didn't want others to know about them, thinking that this was the best way to handle the situation, which by the way was WRONG! This time, it was found out, and the years of troubles she had suffered, was brought out into the open, and her whole family was finally brought to the knowledge of the situation. They all grieved feeling so badly that they had not known their sister had been going through such difficult times.
I found out about it too, as this young woman was a very close friend to me. I pondered at what I could do to lift her spirits, and let her know she is loved, and valued, and that she was not judged by me for her challenges. I had a thought one day as I went shopping at Costco. I passed by the beautiful flowers that they had displayed at the end of an isle, very close to the check out registers. The fragrance of the flowers drew me to them, and I looked at this beautiful, fragrant display, and had an Epiphany. I knew what I would do for my friend. I know that flowers can lift the spirits of everyone, and especially the ill. Flowers are given to people who are in the hospital, and so why not give flowers to someone who is suffering in other ways!
I made a phone call to my Friend and asked her if she was busy that very next day. She said she was available, and I told her to set aside about 3 hours of time, and that I would pick her up at her house, and we would spend that time together. I gave her no clue as to what we would be doing.
When I picked her up, I was excited and so was she. The anticipation of doing something together that was a secret, was exciting. She was smiling and filled with wonder, until we drove up to Costco. She asked, "So we are going shopping in Costco?" I said, "Yes", but what we are shopping for is the secret.
We entered the store, and because I wanted to keep her guessing and excited, we went through all the isles, and admired so many lovely things, until the point we were just about done window shopping, and we arrived at the flower isle. I then told her to select the most beautiful color of roses and that I would be buying them for her today. Her eyes lit up and she told me she loved roses. She also told me that she had never been given so many roses at one time before. She took her time and checked out each bunch and finally settled on beautiful, long stemmed, Red roses. There looked to be 18 - 24 roses in the bunch. On our way to the cash register, I told he that it was my gift to her, but once they were hers, it was up to her as to what she wanted to do with them. I told her that there were so many, that she might want to consider giving some of them to others, to make them as happy as she was, or she could just keep them all for herself. (I had secretly planned and hoped that she would like to share, because it was part of my plan.) She responded as I had hoped and said she would like to give some away, but then began to question who. I then chimed in and made some suggestions. I said to think about people throughout her life, who had made an impact on her. Maybe a teacher, or music teacher, or friend. She began to think and speak out loud her thoughts. She excitedly said, 'I know who I will give to, and she lives very close by.
While in line at the check out, I suggested that there might be many others who could have their day lifted by being given a rose. I suggested that she look around as we went from place to place to watch for someone who might need a rose.
Right in front of us in line, was a mother with a crying child. The mother looked frustrated and was struggling to handle paying for her Costco purchase, and wrestling with her child. My friends eyes lit up and she said, "I think that woman needs a rose". While I was paying for the roses, my friend took out one of the roses in her bouquet, and went over to that woman, and said, "I was noticing that maybe you needed one of these to brighten your day!" The woman responded favorably and smiled and thanked her for the rose. It was totally unexpected, but so very welcomed. They briefly spoke, but what I observed was that not only the countenance of the woman struggling with her child, had changed, but my friend seemed to brighten her own countenance, and she seemed so happy and uplifted.
Next we went to another store and thought that we might find some people in that store who could use a rose. One of such, was the woman who was at the cash register. She seemed frustrated by the onery person who had just checked out. My friend gave her a rose and said that she hoped her day went better from that moment on. You should have seen the look on the face of the woman at the cash register. Her mouth gaped open in wonder, and then a big smile. She thanked my friend and my friend, said, "No thank you for the service you give every day".
My plan for a day of roses was a huge success. I knew from personal experience that when we give service to others, there is a huge side benefit. We feel just as good or better than those we had given the service! My friends countenance changed and she eagerly thought about who she might give the next rose to. We stopped at the door of a music teacher who had made a difference in her life. She gave some of the roses to her Mother who had taken care of her and who was also grieving at the thought her daughter could be dead and gone from the last suicide attempt. Each and every person was happier, and brighter for a time, and this happiness was felt inside my friend.
After the three hours, I took her home. She hugged me and thanked me over and over for the wonderful day of Roses. I told her how much I loved her and how important she was in my life to me. I told her that I didn't know what I would do without her, and hoped that the good feelings she had inside from giving service, love and kindness to others, would remind her of how good if feels to be alive, and focusing on others instead of ourself. We talked about how everyone has troubles in this life and that challenges were what made us who we are. I told her that when she became discouraged, to look around and see that there are so many others who have challenges too, but we can make a difference, by simply being kind, and giving a little service. When we look outward, we don't have time to look inward, yet a direct result of serving others is good feelings. No pill has ever been created to make a person feel as good about themselves as they do when they are serving others.
We parted, and I went home knowing I had done something good. I felt warm fuzzies inside of me, knowing that my friend did too. I had invested my time, my love and a little bit on Roses, but what a marvelous day we shared, one that I had impact on me and so many others, and that I will never forget.
I hope you enjoyed my true story and will go out and enjoy serving others. Much love, Katie G
General Conference Talks
General Conference Reports
Proceedings of Recent General Conferences
What shall we give?
An Apostles Easter Thoughts on Christ
This short video is an Important message from the mouths of our Prophets!
July 6 - Pioneer Cooking
Click on this link to take you to the Pioneer Recipes:
I was also thinking that if you were to copy some of these recipes and print them off, that might be a fun handout for the Sisters you Visit Teach!
July 2nd - Diana Lucina Spicer Block
Visiting Teaching Tips, handouts and Ideas
For many years, I have been creating very cute and fun things to take to the ladies I Visit Teach. I have shared from time to time, my ideas with others and they have really appreciated them. I decided that since I do these anyway, I would start doing one every month and then post it on this blog to share with anyone for their Visiting Teaching. I do need to make a disclaimer.... the ideas, thoughts, stories, graphics etc. used are created by me and they are not in any way official LDS Church quotes, handouts or ideas. They are my creations or others as noted, except for the quotes that will come directly from the Monthly Visiting Teaching message found in the Ensign. Also, many thanks to the talented designers of the digital paper and elements that I use to create the beautiful artwork, and handouts you see on my blog.
You can go to http://www.lds.org/ and look up and even print the monthly message if you do not have your own Ensign magazine subscription in English or to choose to read the Liahona or Ensign in a different language go to http://lds.org/ldsorg/v/index.jsp?vgnextoid=03103c7ff44f2010VgnVCM1000001f5e340aRCRD&locale=0.
For Spanish you can go to http://www.sud.org.es/
I highly recommend you get your own subscription because you will find a wealth of really good & wholesome, moral reading, that you can't find anywhere else. If you go to http://www.lds.org/ and click on "Gospel Library" then click on "Magazines" you can order your own Ensign, Liahona, New Era, or Friend magazines.
Posted by Katie Gauger at 10:41 AM 0 comments
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"Returning to the Past" A Relief Society Activity Idea
I just found your blog. It is so great. I love the idea of the Hearts of Angels. I am trying to figure out how we can use it for our VT conference and incorporate some of the things for our VT interviews. I am a new R/S president and all these things we have to do throughout the year are a little overwhelming. I love all of you ideas. So much work involved, thank you for being willing to share with all of us! I would love anything else you could pass my way.
WE had the thought earlier to use a theme of "Returning to the past" for our activities this year. So all of your old-fashioned pictures will be great to use as invites and handouts.
You might be interested in the idea we had for our B-Day dinner. We always have a progressive dinner in December to the homes of different sisters. We divide them up into about 5 smaller groups and go around to the different sisters homes in the ward. Because of the weather we cancelled it and had it at the church. We decided to do it for our B-Day dinner instead when the weather would be better. We are having the women bring a sack lunch with them and to wear something old, like a grandmothers broach or shawl, or to dress up in the time of the 1800's, and to bring a pint jar with a lid. We will have the sisters make lemonade at the first house and take with them in the jar that they brought, and then go to the next house. At the last house we will have and old fashioned cake to serve like apple walnut cake or something like that.
We still have some details to work out but at the end each member of the presidency will be at a different home and will share a prepared script. It will be written as if they were at the very first R/S meeting when the prophet Joseph Smith organized the R/S with just a handful of women.
Anyway, thank you for sharing what you have! You have a great talent!
Stacey McClellan - Blackfoot, Idaho
SELF RELIANT SISTERS BLOG HAS A GREAT ACTIVITY ABOUT GARDENING WITH KIDS - go to http://selfreliantsisters.blogspot.com/ It is well worth the time and a terriffic idea as Spring is just around the corner! Here is a tiny bit of information that you will see at the site.....
Gardening with Kids has great tips on getting kids started with gardening. Give your child some space; literally! Kids loving having spaces that are all their own, whether it`s their own desk area in the house, or the tent they've created with chairs and blankets in the family room. The same is true for gardening. Dedicate a small plot of the garden just for them. Put a fancy border around it, perhaps purchase one of the stepping stone making kits found at crafts stores in which they can mold their name and make their hand print.
Let them join you at the nursery. Let your kids know you value their opinion. Ask them which kinds of plants, flowers, and vegetables they like. Explain what will work well in your garden and what won't.
Give them (limited) choices. While you're at the nursery, ask them if they'd like pansies or petunias, marigolds or zinnias. This will give them the feeling of power without letting it get out of control.
Remind them money doesn't grow on trees. With older children discuss the budget. Let them help select seeds and blossoming plants at the nursery - and turn it into a math lesson. Let your child do the money calculations; they can tell you when the money runs out.
Let your child do what he will (especially if you have a preschooler). Let him dig, explore, play with bugs. You may be tempted to steer your child in another direction (like actually watering or weeding his garden), but this is a great way for your child to explore this exciting new universe.
Plan, plan, plan. If you have older children, say 8 or 9 or older, let them plot out their own garden on paper. Provide him or her with graph paper, pencils and seed catalogs. Give them a group of flowers and vegetables from which to choose, and then let them draw out their garden.
Get them their own gardening tools. Nothing will motivate your little gardener more than having her own little shovel, her own gardening gloves, and her own watering pail. And don't forget those bright colored rubber boots. You need to go to the site and explore all the rest of the links and ideas.