On December 23, we started a new tradition in the Rasmusen family.
Mom and Dad, along with all us siblings and our spouses had an adult-only supper-and-sharing night. I spent most of the day cleaning and decorating the house and lighting handfuls of tiny candles, scattering them around the dinner table so we could eat by candlelight (an old Rasmusen tradition). My mom picked up Market Street Grill’s one and only clam chowder, as well as an assortment of chocolate deliciousness. I made two kinds of warm belly drinks, a hot cocoa from “The Pioneer Woman” website, and carmel hot cocoa from “Our Best Bites.”
We were in food heaven.
But the best thing about the evening wasn’t the food (although it was a CLOSE second.) My mom asked us all to think of something that has helped us this past year and share it with the family.
“We are all here to help each other through this life,” she said. She began by sharing a book.
THE POWER OF POSITIVE THINKING
“The Power of Positive Thinking” by Norman Vincent Peale has sold over 5 million copies. Originally published in 1952, it has had several printings and updates since then. The book was originally introduced to me, from my good friend and one of the most positive people I know, Alex Boye.
“This book will change your life,” he told me on a plane to San Francisco. “Everyone should read this book.”
I quickly downloaded one on my Kindle, and casually mentioned it to my mom as well. She went out and bought a copy and devoured it. The suggestions are so easy to apply, but they really, truly can change your life. I absolutely believe there is POWER in thinking positively, optimistically, and in believing in yourself. This is something I want to work on even more in 2014.
Weird. I know. But my Dad SWEARS that this miracle liquid can cure or heal just about anything (ever seen “My Big Fat Greek Wedding?” Windex got nothin’ on HP!) My Dad is one of the healthiest people I know, besides my mom. Both regularly compete (and place first in their age divisions) in triathlons and bike races. My Dad has successfully competed and finished in the Iron Man in St. George and Panama City. Three times. And he swears by gargling with hydrogen peroxide.
“I let it slide waaaay to the back of my throat,” he said, acting it out at the dinner table, “and say A-E-I-O-U…for about 30 seconds.” Mix with equal parts water (“about a sacrament cup’s full”) and gargle every night before bed. HP can also be used to heal minor cuts, infections, and poured on Q-tips to clean out ears. I’d say “consult with your doctor before using” but my dad is one. Use precaution, read the label, and have a healthier mouth. You’re very welcome.
SERVICE BRINGS TRUE JOY
My newest brother-in-law, Matt Burr shared some great thoughts on service. “While I was serving an LDS mission, I grew to love the people I served,” he said. “But because I was serving them every day, it was like I didn’t even notice it was service anymore. It just came so easily, as did loving them. My advice is to serve others and love others.” He went on to say that if you’re struggling with someone in your neighborhood, family, or at work, to serve them. I thought this was excellent advice, and one of the reasons why I am so completely head-over-heels for my children. A parent never stops serving.
My sister-in-law told us something her father told her shortly after marrying my brother: the importance of a once-a-week date night. EVERY week. And as a surprise Christmas gift, she offered their babysitting services for my boys so my husband and I could incorporate this into our lives at least once a month. The best gift ever!
There was a common theme, and that was “Believe in Yourself.” My husband is finishing his master’s. My brother is getting ready for an internship. My oldest sister and husband are getting ready to move. Life can throw you curveballs, that’s for sure. But truly, we are the only ones that are capable of holding us back.
What will you accomplish in 2014?