Jul 23, 2009

Under the Magnifying Glass (and stepping down from ANWA VP)

(The reason you see 2 posts from me today is I messed up and posted a week early. When Marsha figured it out she changed it to today's date. Sorry about that. I wrote a post for today and since I like them both... you can read whatever your time and interest permits). LOL :)

UNDER THE MAGNIFYING GLASS (and stepping down from ANWA VP)

by Stephanie Abney

I love all the various meanings of words. I was recently reflecting on the phrase, “Magnify your calling.” Here are some of my thoughts:

One of my school kids’ favorite things to do is to pick up a large magnifying glass off my desk and look through it. “What big eyes you have Mrs. Abney,” they’ll say to me. And I’ll tell them that’s because the magnifying glass makes things seem bigger than they really are.

To magnify is to increase the actual size or magnitude of something. And I found it interesting that when used as a transitive verb, it means to praise God; to give thanks to God.

President Thomas S. Monson spoke of this in a talk found in the Nov. 1999 Ensign: “What does it mean to magnify a calling? It means to build it up in dignity and importance, to make it honorable and commendable in the eyes of all men and women, to enlarge and strengthen it to let the light of heaven shine through it to the view of others. And how does one magnify a calling? Simply by performing the service that pertains to it.”

Why do we serve? The answers may vary from person to person and from circumstance to circumstance, but I think the bottom line is that we serve because we love the Lord. Going back to the meaning of the word “magnify” when used as a transitive verb, to “praise God,” can there be any better way praise Him than to show our love for all He has done by striving to magnify our callings?

After I wrote this, I thought… hmm, strange post following my stepping down from ANWA General VP... I do have 3 daughters with babies due over the next few months and too many demands at work with all new curriculum and a new grade level as well as some other situations that I find best left unsaid. I felt I could not possibly serve you sisters in the manner I would like to. Much to my joy and personal growth, I have served in ANWA in one position or another for nearly every year I have been a member (which is over 20 years now). So I pass the baton of ANWA VP over to Valerie Ipson knowing that she will do a marvelous job.

Despite all my personal craziness right now, I did not go to the Bishop… rest assured I still have my ward callings. I just think it is time to find other ways to “praise God,” to show my love, by serving my family, my ward, my school and students and hopefully, an occasional written piece now and then. (That was one dang long run-on sentence)!!

I love you all and have learned so much from each of you over the years. Thank you. You are the best!


  1. Thanks for everything and every way you have served. The good thing is that you really aren't going anywhere. You are still part of us!

  2. I like your thoughts on magnifying--and the point that as our situations in life change, the ways we "magnify" may need to change too. Thanks so much for serving us.

  3. Great post Stephanie. I can understand when the load shifts and you have to move on to something else. Thanks for supporting us. 20 years!!! That's awesome.

  4. Some callings we magnify, some we keep the same size, and some we downsize. I've done them all, to my pleasure or dismay. There are some things that only need to be kept up with, in my humble opinion, like housework, for example. I know some housewives that make it a first priority. Sometimes all it deserves in the press of other things, is the proverbial 'lick and a promise', while at other times it needs magnifying.

    There is a time and a place for everything. Thank
    goodness it doesn't all have to be done at the same time.

    My son met with an old classmate and friend to reminisce over the "good old days." His friends remembered, "I just loved to come over to your house, because it was so messy I didn't have to be careful how I sat. And there was always plenty of food. We could go to the refrigerator and help ourselves to anything. I remember how off-hand your mother always talked and did things,. Once at the dinner table somebody said, "Didn't you make salad?" To which your mom said, "Oh, do you want salad? I'll get you some," and she went to the refrigerator, pulled out a head of lettuce, brought it back and rolled it down the table. "There it is, help yourself."

    Of course I don't remember any such thing, but somehow it didn't bother me a bit.

    Now, how did I get to talking about this when the subject was magnification? I always have a hard time staying on track.


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