Joyce is a mother, wife, sister, school teacher, Bulgarian speaker, conservative, lover of good music, social media junky and a two time culinary arts Grand Champion bread baker. She and the family reside in a remote mountain community where great discoveries have been made. When not changing the world, she enjoys the occasional bowl of chips and salsa. She can be found at: http://pinterest.com/TheAtomicMom
My mother passed away a year ago today. It’s been strange, hard, growing, sad, happy, frustrating, lonely, people-filled, serving, insightful, spirit filled year.
As we drove down to Arizona for the funeral, and as we got closer to Mesa, my anxiety increased. With each mile we drove, I felt like I was going to pop, or melt into tears. Noise was burdensome, I didn’t want to talk or sleep. I just wanted to look out the window and watch the trees pass by. We’d just driven through Payson and were heading south toward the Valley of the Sun, my home. By now the Ponderosa had turned to saguaro and ocotillo, and as we descended the last hill into town I kept having an argument with myself, in my head:
A few announcements have been shared from the church over the last few days.
April 2021 General Conference will be an all virtual Conference again. I hope that by October we can all meet in person, regular Sunday worship services will have resumed and the temples are so packed, there is a waiting list to get in. Read more about this HERE.
There are some new chapters to the General Handbook that have been released this week. You can read more about that HERE.
BYU Women’s Conference will also be a virtual Conference this year. Some of the sessions will be broadcast and will be free to watch, others will require a Conference ticket. Read more about that HERE.
Read about the 39 announcements and changes that have taken place since Pres. Russell M. Nelson became president of the church HERE.
Here is a video clip to brighten up your afternoon:
“And God said, Let there be lights in the firmament of the heaven to divide the day from the night; and let them be for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years” Genesis 1:14
Today is the winter solstice in the northern hemisphere, and a rare astronomical event, with the conjunction of Jupiter and Saturn in the night sky. Some people are calling this the Christmas star. I don’t think this was or is the Christmas star, but it’s still exciting to observe the stars in the sky and know that they were put there by Heavenly Father.
Today on his facebook page, Pres. Nelson shared this message:
Growing up, from age 15 to about 20, I would sing the choir for our Stake’s performances of Handel’s Messiah. Our stake would perform Messiah at Christmas and Easter every year, and it was something that I looked forward too with great joy. The first year my mom invited me to come and sing in the choir, I thought I had made it to the apex of my choral singing experience because as far as my little 15 year old brain was concerned, Messiah was the pinnacle of all music ever written. My forty-somethin-somethin self still thinks that and, Messiah continues to be my most favorite work to sing.
I came across a Messiah concert this last week broadcast from Trinity Church in New York City. I loved the fact that the orchestra was a very small one and had period appropriate instruments and a very small choir — as it would have been performed in Handel’s day. The concert was held at the St Paul’s Chapel in lower Manhattan. This church is historically significant for two reasons in particular. After George Washington was inaugurated as president he attended a church service at St. Paul’s and after September 11th, this was one of the few buildings in the radius of the World Trade Center that was not damaged. In fact, the church served as a sort of command center for emergency response personnel. The church yard is also the burial ground for many important American’s such as Alexander Hamilton. Greatest choral work ever written + historical church = one happy me.
Now, if you’re me you listen to the whole concert twice in an afternoon and grab your Messiah score and sing along both times. If you’re not me and don’t have six extra hours to spend, here are some highlights to fill your ears with. There are a lot of highlights I could include and this was hard to whittle it down to just a few. I decided to omit For Unto Us a Child is Bornand the Hallelujah Chorus, mostly because we all know those songs quite well and they get plenty of time in the spotlight. Here are a few other selections that are just as deserving of that spotlight.