Friday, November 2, 2012

November, a Time of Thanksgiving

I am thankful to live in a country where we hold the tradition of celebrating Thanksgiving. May it ever continue to be so!


Being thankful and, more importantly, expressing gratitude on a consistent basis makes one a gracious person. The Lord said that nothing offends Him more than people who aren't thankful. If we start to express thanks on a consistent basis, we become more aware of all the things there are to be thankful for. This heightens our sensitivities to the beauties around us; it makes us better at seeing other people's points of view; it gives us the ability to focus on those who have been so good to us; it gives us an ability to be thankful for our opportunities to serve and give, whether or not thanks is expressed to us. Being thankful draws us nearer to God and helps us to remember that all of our blessings ultimately come from Him. (HSS) 


I wrote the above comment to a post by Nicole Rees; then, I also used it as my status:

"Can you tell me why it is important to you to give thanks and to have a thankful heart?"

“Wonderful words! Thank you so much for sharing Heidi!”

Thanks the wonderful prompt and giving me the opportunity, Nicole. In the midst of my daily concerns, it was good to be drawn back into what is important and what I should be doing. 

When Elder Hales was a brand-new apostle, he said something like: Gratitude means being thankful for what you have now and where you are now, regardless of what you've had in the past or what you expect in the future. That had a profound effect on me, so I kept the gist of it in my memory.

I wrote this as a comment to my status:

Whenever I think about this subject, my memories return to when Bob Stevenson was in dental school and we became friends with Bretta Weatherholtz and Marvin Weatherholtz. They were great examples of thankful people to both of us. They were constantly saying a heart-felt "thank you" every time a service was rendered to them. That isn't my main point here though. They would always say "thank you" when they were the ones who had given the service. That taught us so much.

“Wow, Heidi, thank you. There have been many times when people have asked why I said thank you when I was giving the service. I thought about that a lot and I think it is because most of the time the service was to watch their children. What an honor to be able to be counted as someone worthy to be left in charge of your children. I know the influence those around my children had on them. I was grateful to have the opportunity to do the same for someone else. Molding children has always been a blessing in my life. I love them so very much. Whether they were mine or not.”

Thanks Bretta. I really loved Heather and Willie like my own, too. That was a special time in my life. It was great for Cathy and John to have instant "cousins" when we lived away from family.

So ends day 1, and begins day 2.


I am thankful for the Plan of Salvation as taught in the scriptures and in the temple. Most importantly and central to that, I am thankful for the Atonement of Jesus Christ. It is because of Jesus Christ that I can be forgiven of my sins, progress, and live a happy life. It is also because of Him that I will be resurrected after I die and have the privilege of being with those I love again in my Father’s presence.

I am also thankful to have a voice and to have a choice. My Heavenly Father gave us all agency. So I can choose to do what I think is right and correct, or I can even rebel and choose what I know is wrong. It’s up to me. Sometimes, the way others use their agency makes me angry, but I have to remember, agency is a gift from God. With all good gifts, comes responsibility. So while we can make our own decisions, we cannot pick the consequences. I am sure that I was not a quiet participant in the Counsel in Heaven. I am fairly opinionated after all. By I am thankful that God allowed me a voice and a choice, and that He will forgive me when I’m wrong, if I just admit it and return to Him and seek His favor.

Life is so great!

Also, I attended the temple today. The sky above the temple was a deep blue. The rest of the sky, in all directions, was still gray, leftover from this morning's fog. I am thankful for the clear vision we can receive through temple worship.

(If you would like to see more of my photos from Redlands Temple, 11-2-12, please look at my November Remember Album on Facebook, or ask for a link.)


I am thankful for digital cameras. I have a simple point-and-shoot, but it has brought me a lot of pleasure. I am also thankful to my brother-in-law, Matt Lockhart, who issued the challenge to post a photo a day. This challenge has made me more aware of all the beauties around me. I’ve taken my camera on walks, to Primary, and almost everywhere I go. True, most of my photographs are amateurish, but that’s all right with me. I have so many memories captured and recorded, and some of my pictures are brilliant. I probably ought to send Matt that $50 after all. No, that’s not going to happen.

I’m also thankful that my daughter Christine schools at home. She is involved in an on-line charter school. But I have taken it upon me to write essays to some of her prompts, and I have written some essays, blogs, and comments to other things that have interested me. The past couple of months have been once of growth for me, because I am writing again. So I guess I am thankful for talents and interests, and for time to develop them. 


I am thankful for Sunday and for the renewal of my spirit. I am privileged to take the Sacrament and remember my Savior. I am grateful for the friends I see and the testimonies and values we share. I am glad to reaffirm my convictions and rededicate myself to following the Lord’s plan for me.

I am thankful for the Spirit of Giving that begins once Halloween is over and we head into November. (Added 11-6-13: I am thankful for the Spirit of Giving that begins with the giving of candy at Halloween and continues as we head into November and towards Thanksgiving Day, and as I hearts turn to the Savior and His holy birth which is celebrated in December. We contemplate the  gift of grace that our Father has given us, His Son, and everlasting life through Him. This Spirit of Giving helps to cleanse us and prepare us to resolve to be a little better and do a little better in the New Year.)

I am thankful to enjoy baking and being able to share goodies with others. I am thankful to have the opportunity to have a good family meal following a nice afternoon nap. I am thankful for visits in person and visits by phone with many friends and family members.

I am glad to feel strengthened to face this new week. 


I am thankful for freedom of speech, freedom of press, and freedom of religion. I am especially thankful that I can personally use all three of these as means of expression.

We claim the privilege of worshiping Almighty God according to the dictates of our own conscience, and allow all men the same privilege, let them worship how, where, or what they may. (Joseph Smith: Article of Faith 1:11)

We believe in being subject to kings, presidents, rulers, and magistrates, in obeying, honoring, and sustaining the law. (Joseph Smith: Article of Faith 1:12)

I am thankful that we can vote tomorrow, and I feel that it is of utmost importance for me to vote for the candidates whom I feel will protect my freedoms. (I personally voted three weeks ago.)


Today I am thankful for prayer. I am thankful for the comfort and warmth of the Spirit. I am thankful for the Gift of the Holy Ghost. I am thankful to be able to stand in holy places and remember. I am thankful for so many wonderful people in this country and in this world who believe in moral integrity and living principles of righteousness. May God bless our leaders to be righteous, and may He bless us all to be honest, hard-working, covenant keeping people.

I attended two temple sessions today. Because I voted three weeks ago, I thought that the best thing that I could do today was to go to the temple and petition the Lord with my desires and with what I feel is best for our country. I was only planning on going to one session. But it was important for me to be there for a second. It was a morning well spent.

While in the celestial room, I read Psalms 40 through 50. Here are a few verses that stood out:
Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. Psalms 46:10

Offer unto God thanksgiving; and pay thy vows unto the most High:
And call upon me in the day of trouble: I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me.
Whoso offereth praise glorifieth me: and to him that ordereth his conversation aright will I shew the salvation of God. Psalms 50: 14, 15, 23

This month is one of Thanksgiving, but it is also one of petition. Please be thankful and prayerful.

Jesus Christ is our only hope

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; they will I hear from heave, and will forgivbe their sin, and will heal their land. (2 Chronicles 7:14)

A symbol of my faith and commitment to God, family, my fellow men, and truth. 


A Symbol of my faith and commitment to God, family, my fellow men, and truth. 11-6-12


I am thankful that I got a few hours of sleep last night. I am thankful that I could go on a lovely morning walk. Today's walk was not as serene as usual, but the great outdoors always help to put things in perspective. I'm thankful for friends and family who share my beliefs, who are also mourning over our Country's choices and the loss of the candidate whom we felt would lead our country aright. And I am thankful that we are all choosing to put our best foot forward and move as optimistically as possible into the future. We do not have a president who leads from the front, so we must all lead shoulder-to-shoulder. That's as it should be and must be. After all, this Country was built upon moral principles by "We, the People." Let's have faith in the Lord and in one another to help build her up again.

I am thankful for my third grade teacher, Miss Nakahara, who taught us all our country's national anthems.
It is clear that some people prize freedom more than others.

I didn't take any pictures yesterday, because I was in mourning. So this is the picture of the day that I chose for 11-7-12



I am thankful for music. I am especially thankful for Christmas songs. I am thankful for the sweetness of the Spirit of the Lord and for all of His tender mercies. His is the way, the truth, and the light. "Surely He hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrows." (Isaiah 53:4)

Read all of Isaiah 53


I am thankful for date night. My good husband takes me out to dinner almost every Friday night. we have precious little time together, but I always enjoy our time. Tonight we ate at Souplantation and then walked through Costco looking for Christmas ideas. I really am blessed to have a husband that loves me most and puts me first.


I am thankful for food. I love to eat. I am thankful for the rain we are getting. And I am thankful that the heater is turned on. Life is comfortable. I am most especially thankful for my family. I have a wonderful husband and the best children (grownups) ever.


I am thankful for my husband and my children. I am thankful for my children's spouses. They are wonderful people. I am thankful for my grandson Jacob and for little Amanda that will join us soon. I love my family.

I am thankful for Primary: for my counselors, for the teachers, for the Bishopric; but, most importantly, for the children. The children of our Ward are all beautiful and wonderful people.

I am thankful for the service of our military. They are the givers and the servers. We are always in debt to them for the great blessings of freedom that we enjoy. God bless them, and Happy Veteran's Day.


I am thankful for being blessed with a heart, with a testimony of the Savior through the power of the Holy Ghost, and with an conscience that prompts me to do what I most assuredly believe is right.


I’m thankful to be a part of the Relief Society. I'm glad that I went to the Relief Society meeting tonight. It's easy to say "blah," and not go, but then you miss out on so much. (But I did plan to go to this one.)


I am thankful for telephones. I can talk to my sisters and my children and friends that are so far away. This is a huge blessing.


I am thankful for the Internet. It seems to be the best way to shuffle through all the stuff and to find some real news, some viable answers, and some like-minded people; plus, a multitude of various people and ideas. With all the outside voices in today's world though, I am thankful to be able to look both inward and upward and still hear and feel an inner voice. I am thankful for living prophets, too!


I am thankful for my daughter Christine M. Stevenson, who is stuck with me most every day. She is a good sport about it. I will really miss her when she moves away.

I am also for good food, good company, and good ice cream. I love spending Friday evenings out with my Bobby.


I am thankful for my ward family. We had our Thanksgiving dinner tonight. It was delicious and I enjoyed visiting with those people who sat at the same table as me. You are all wonderful.


I am thankful for bed, and for the sweet escape sleep can be.

I am thankful for the children of our ward. They are the best. I love them so much. I am glad to hand the baton to Georgia Brown Chamberlain. I know she loves the children as least as much as I do. I'd like to thank my counselors and secretary, Cami Seeger Poulsen, Becky Casdin, Jenae Terrill, and Sherry Mendoza. I love all of you truly. Thanks for your support and hard work. Thanks to all of the teachers and parents as well. These children are our future.


I am thankful to be a stay-at-home mom. Bob has always worked hard to provide for us, and I appreciate that I was able to witness all of my children’s firsts. This was a huge blessing to me. No matter what satisfaction I could have found in the workplace, I would never trade it for the time that I have been able to spend with all of my children.

At different times, when our money situation was extremely tight, I’d ask Bob if he wanted me to get a job. His reply was always the same, “You already have one.” That is not to say that he would discourage from having a job or pursuing a career or interest if I desired to do so.

After Tommy was born, Bob was home for a week or two and took care of our four little children quite extensively. On his first day back to work, I asked him if he had a hard day that evening. He said, “That was the easiest day I’ve had in a long time.” I’m glad that he has always valued and appreciated what I do. I love you, Bob.


I am thankful for Thanksgiving. I hope that no president now or future will take away this great holiday. Thank you, Honest Abe.

I am thankful that Bob Stevenson is stopping at Winco for me to get the groceries we need for Thanksgiving. He is so helpful and has always been willing to do the shopping. Also, he is bringing me home dinner. Yes, I am rather spoiled. It is beginning to feel a lot like Christmas.

I love being able to read aloud with my children. Christine and I have been enjoying Huckleberry Finn. Mark Twain is not only a fantastic writer; he is a brilliant story-teller. I am thankful for the talents of others, and for the talents I have myself.


I am thankful for family. We have always felt great support from Bob's parents and from my parents. Today we enjoyed a wonderful Thanksgiving feast at Bob's sister Vicki's home. Thank you Kris and Vicki and everyone who shared your food, your conversation, and your love. I'm looking forward to spending New Year's with my family of origin. 


I am thankful for springtime in autumn. That's Southern California. The way to tell the difference is by the color of the leaves; otherwise, there is little difference. I am so thankful to see the leaves change color. Even if it doesn't happen in September here, it still happens.

I am thankful that my husband can take me to the temple. I'm glad that we got to go there for a Friday evening date. The session was small, but I am glad that Bob wanted a "White Friday."

Afterwords, we had a good burger at Five Guys.


I am thankful that my parents' generation was not afraid of work, and I am thankful that they taught us the value of work. I am thankful for the righteous example of many people who have not worried about repayment, but have served others so unselfishly. I believe in work and service as a road to happiness, peace, and freedom.


I am thankful that my parents' generation was not afraid of work, and I am thankful that they taught us the value of work. I am thankful for the righteous example of many people who have not worried about repayment, but have served others so unselfishly. I believe in work and service as a road to happiness, peace, and freedom.


Happy anniversary to my son and daughter-in-law, Thomas and Whitney Stevenson. You two make a wonderful couple. I'm so looking forward to seeing you and Jacob and Amanda. I love all of my children, their spouse, and my grandchildren. I am thankful for them.

I'm thankful for life. It's always good to wake up and realize I still get another go at it.


I am thankful for sappy Christmas movies. I love them. It's even better when it's the Christmas season so I have the excuse to watch them.

Today was my Nana's 101st birthday. I miss you, Nana. Happy Birthday.
I am thankful for my grandparents. I look forward to seeing my grandmothers again and to meeting my grandfathers.


I am thankful for hot tubbies and a hot hubby.


Hurray, I am a grandmother again. Welcome to the world little Amanda. We love you! Good job, Whitney Idalia Stevenson. Congratulations to you and Thomas William Stevenson.

I am thankful for Baby Amanda Lorraine who was born today. She weighs 7 lbs. 8 oz. and is 19.5 inches long. I am thankful for my daughter-in-law Whitney Idalia Stevenson who has given birth to our two grandchildren, Jacob and Amanda, and to Thomas William Stevenson who is a wonderful husband and father.

Look at all that hair. Isn't she so adorable?


November is definitely a time to remember. We should count our blessings, and we should show gratitude to the many people who have made our lives so wonderful. I am thankful to those who started writing down their thankful posts for the month. It made me want to do the same. I hope that in the days ahead we can all influence each other for good and make this world a better, happier, more peaceful place.

I am thankful for my Savior whose birth I am preparing to celebrate once again. I am thankful for my growing family, and I am thankful that we can all belong together forever because of the grace and love and atoning sacrifice of our Lord Jesus Christ and our Heavenly Father who gave His Son as a gift to the world.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone and Merry Christmas. Happy Chanukah and happy Holy Days. And “May God bless us every one.”

I am also thankful that I will get to see my son John in a few minutes and for a few minutes today and tomorrow. 

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