As I was falling asleep last night, my mind turned unexpectedly to a few kind things people have done for me in the last year or so. It’s a small, important list.

  • A few hours before my dad died, my friend Sarah P. from my writing group, delivered to me a giant wire basket filled with comfort things: a minky blanket, knitted slippers, hand cream, a warm scarf, chocolate, a children’s book on loss, and other beautiful, soft gifts. My writing group didn’t know my dad would pass away the same day they sent Sarah to deliver the care package, but he did, and they’d brought me a basket full of love at exactly the right time. They couldn’t all be there with me on my dad’s last day on earth, but they sent it to me in symbols.
  • One of my friends has begun to mentor me spiritually, and it’s a glorious gift. She spends time listening to me talk about my dreams, which for me are one of the prime methods the spirit uses to communicate with me. She shares insightful articles and General Conference addresses with me. She teaches me about her own spiritual growth, and shares her spiritual insights, which have been both a lifeline and a source of strength for my own testimony. Is there anything more generous than listening and sharing with someone the truest things you know?
  • My mother spends time with my boys and has taught me the important work of listening to children, and being a stabilizing and loving force in their lives. Children need unchanging love. My children particularly need structure and predictable boundaries. She’s always been a source of love and concern, but in the last fifteen months, my mother has grown exponentially in this capacity. People who help children are doing the Lord’s work.
  • When the counselor in the temple presidency set me apart last week for my new calling as an ordinance worker, he (a virtual stranger to me) addressed and answered my MOST PRESSING QUESTIONS regarding faith. He didn’t know the things that weighed on my spirit. But my Heavenly Parents knew, and they sent the spirit to teach me and bring me a sense of understanding and peace. I guess what I’m saying is that while it was lovely of the counselor to extend the call to me and to give me a blessing, I’m mostly glad he listened to the spirit, who told me all the things I needed to know—things I hadn’t really shared with anyone. I hadn’t spoken them aloud. But God spoke back to me, and gave me peace.

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