Thursday, February 28, 2008

A Heart Like His (and some movies)

Well, I finished the next book club book, A Heart Like His by Virginia H. Pearce, but unfortunately the meeting is starting right now and I'm home with the girls because Mike had to work tonight. It was a quick read (only 100 pages) and was the first "church" book that we have had on the schedule. It was a good book....I didn't love it, but I didn't dislike it either, you know?

The premise of the book is that you can easily experiment to feel the Savior's love more in your own life by softening your heart and showing love towards others. You are not supposed to make any big changes in your typical daily routines, just try to make yourself more aware of the condition of your heart and keeping it open towards others. Some of my favorite examples of how to do this included not letting anyone sit alone at church and being there to listen to others. The author talks about how we tend to withhold comfort sometimes because we are afraid of committing ourselves to what may turn into a big obligation, when most of the time people just need someone to listen and show they are concerned without any large gesture of charity.

I think most of us have a tendency to want to talk - talk about ourselves, give advice, talk about our own experiences, etc. instead of just being a good listener. My manager at Gymboree is a really nice woman, but she always talks about herself and anytime I try to interject any tidbit into the conversation she totally cuts me off - not to be rude, but just because that is how she is used to communicating. It has made me much more aware of making sure I give others the chance to speak and asking people more questions about themselves.

The girls and I have made friends (all thanks to Addie!) at two of our most frequent stops: the gym and the library. Our favorite friend at the gym is a grandma who works folding towels at a counter we walk by on the way to the childcare center. Ella now looks forward to seeing Miss Janet each morning and we wait to say hi if she is away from the counter when we get there. This doesn't have anything to do with where I'm going on this, but recently Janet did the nicest thing for Ella and I have to share it....My sister Hope has been renovating her room to give it a more "mature" look and so Ella has been inheriting a lot of her old decor. One item was a pink jewelry box and Ella fell in love with this little butterfly ring that was still inside. She wanted to wear it to the gym which I didn't think was a good idea, but I let her and then I totally forgot about it when I picked her up. Well, the next day she went to the jewelry box to get another ring and I told her I didn't want her to lose it and then I suddenly remembered the butterfly ring which hadn't come back home with us. We went to the gym and when we left had them check their lost and found but it was gone. Ella was so sad - geniunely heartbroken. I felt awful because I was partly responsible for not remembering to see if she had it the day before and it was so sad to see her really upset. Most of the time when she cries she is being dramatic because she hasn't gotten her way, but this time she was trying NOT to cry. As we walked back by Miss Janet she said bye to Ella and Ella just burst into sobs. I quickly told Janet what happened and walked out carrying Ella in one arm and Addie in the other. We reassured Ella we would keep our eyes out for a new butterfly ring and she agreed is was a good idea not to wear rings into the gym anymore, so we were doing ok the next morning as we walked into the gym. Miss Janet was so excited to see us and said she had a surprise for Ella. She pulled out this necklace full of different rings and said she had looked for a butterfly one but hadn't been able to find one. I was so touched that she had gone out that same night and had been so thoughtful! She definitely had an open heart and probably could feel the Savior's love as she did this kind thing for Ella. Anyway, the reason I brought up Janet is because when I first started reading this book I realized I didn't know much about her other than that she was a grandma and I made it a point to ask her about herself more. I have found out that she truly is an amazing woman who has gone through many trials in her life. Most recently she had been raising her youngest grandchild since birth, who is autistic and now almost 3. His parents just decided they wanted him back and weren't even allowing her to see him so she had to go to court to get visitation and is able to see him every other weekend. I try to keep track of when she is going to get to see him so I can talk to her about it and give her the chance to share her excitement. I'm thankful that the book inspired me to slow down and take the time to talk to her a little each morning!

There are little quotes dispersed throughout the book and my favorite one was:
"Above our mantel is engraved: 'There isn't anyone you couldn't love Once you've heard their story.'" Mary Lou Kownacki
I have been working on being less easily irritated by people lately and this quote really hit home for me. We don't always know what people are going through and we should find the Christ-like love within ourselves to give them the benefit of the doubt because we would all hope they would do the same for us.

I guess I liked the book more than I originally stated, I didn't realize I had been thinking about it so everyone should read it now :-)! You can do it in just a few hours.

Here are some videos from last night too:
I caught Addie on tape doing her "secret" walking:

Ella's latest dance move :-):

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