A number of things have been running through my mind today. First let me tell you about my nephew who is on the board of directors for an orphanage in Haiti. His group is trying very hard to collect tents for their orphans and for other orphanages they are in contact with in that unfortunate country. He's been working around the clock trying to get children who are already in the adoption process out of the country and the adoptions completed to make room for all of the new orphans who need help. These children need shelter and that means tents. Because transportation is a problem, he says it's better to donate money than to try to ship tents. He's urging donations in two ways, 1) the LDS humanitarian effort (donations can be made by marking the Humantarian Aid box on any ward or branch tithes and offerings form and enclosing a check) or 2) donate through Shelter Box at http://www.shelterboxusa.org/. The LDS Humanitarian effort has provided many of the tents the Foyer de Sion orphanage is currently using, but more are needed. One ward in Idaho has been working for a couple of years to make a hundred quilts to donate to a humanitarian cause. They've decided to send their quilts to the Foyer de Sion orphanage and a company that processes fish has agreed to transport the quilts to Miami where my nephew will arrange transportation to Haiti. I have been deeply touched by the generosity of people in this country and other countries who have opened their hearts and wallets to the people of this poor, tragedy stricken nation.
For the past three weeks I've been reading as fast and furiously as possible. I was asked to be one of the judges to help whittle down the Whitney nominees to five finalists in two of the categories. I had already read most of the books in one category and enjoyed the few I hadn't previously read. The other category was much harder because I hadn't read or even heard of most of the nominees. Most are not as well edited as those in the first category either, which made reading them more difficult. But I'm excited to announce I finally finished reading them all. I can easily pick the one I liked best in each category, but placing the rest in numerical order is going to be much harder.
One of my daughters had a serious close brush with death a few days ago. This sudden, unexpected emergency threw my whole family into a tailspin, but it also left me extremely grateful for my children and their closeness to each other. It also reminded me of how a strong, loving ward expresses their love for one of their own. Children were cared for and comforted, blessings given, meals prepared, and messages relayed. The first couple of days family accomplished these things, now we have a hard time finding helpful things to do because the ward is rallying around this little family.
Each day I get a little spiritual thought from LDSNuggets. Today's was a quote by James E. Faust. It particularly struck a chord within me and I decided to pass it on since it is particularly pertinent to the turmoil and trials our world faces at this time and the questions we have concerning the future. "'As we look into the future, we are going to need to be stronger and more responsible for our choices in a world where people “call evil good, and good evil.” We do not choose wisely if we use our agency in opposition to God’s will or to priesthood counsel. Tomorrow’s blessings and opportunities depend on the choices we make today.'"