October 07, 2013
This morning I recovered from my weekend with a smile on my face.
Little reminders of life lived well are sprinkled around my yard and home.
These are the days that I am so grateful to live.
My brother and sister in law, and their six kids (I still count their angel baby in their kid total, is that weird of me?) drove to our house for the weekend.
It was so fun to visit with them.
As my kids left for school this morning, I wiped sticky handprints off the wall in the downstairs bathroom.
I smiled at the growing pile of wet, muddy shoes on the back porch.
I grabbed a fork off the picnic table out back, sitting next to an abandoned scoop of bean salsa.
I walked out front and threw a strategically gathered pile of sticks off the rocking chair, back into the yard. I dumped sorted cups full of red blossoms, small yellow leaves, and some kind of green buds back into the garden (bringing the plastic bowls in to be washed).
I noticed that the grass under our swings is starting to wear thin as more and more kids play on our swing set.
In front of the barn, I smiled at the tarp covering the newly poured cement for our upcoming basketball standard.
In the basement, we fixed the wire closet shelf that bent down as a growing cousin learned how not to get the Legos.
I moved the picture poster "Let what you love be what you do" that got stepped on and broken as my now teenage boys, who used to be little boys, played a pretty intense game of ping pong.
My fridge is full of leftovers. Grandma's homemade chicken noodle soup that we serve over mashed potatoes, lots of taco salad stuff, chili chocolate, fun cheeses from Wegeman's, and a medley of fruits a vegetables from Aunt Rebekah's efforts to juice me into good health.
As Monday morning laundry commenced, Grandma called Grandpa to have him look up "grass stains" in her Queen of Clean book. Rubbing alcohol, lemon juice and Zout may become a staple in our new house.
My children are active and it takes some effort to get them to sit and listen to church all weekend. I smile at the taped picture of the general authorities still hanging from where Uncle David promised a tootsie roll to the first cousin to find the speaker.
Words are taped to my TV armoire from Saturday's bag of snacks that were only supposed to be eaten when one heard a key word- scriptures, friend, trials, Amen, mission, prayer or spaghetti.
Clipboards are piled on my counter with notes taken on Sunday for a between session game of "Stump the Unc". Kids asked questions from conference and if their uncles couldn't answer them they got candy.
I laugh again at Ellie's questions...
How was Elder Scott's hair parted? Answer: Only about an inch over his ear and then combed way over. And, Who was speaking when I ate a gogurt? Elder Eyring.
I love conference weekend.
I am grateful to be alive for these days.
Every six months, Mormon's around the world listen to prophets, apostles, and church leaders who telecast talks for a General Conference.
Every six months I am reminded that I know God speaks to man. I know God speaks to man, because as I listen to the words of inspired men and women, I am inspired. God speaks to me and gives me hope and inspiration. He teaches me how to teach my children, He fills my soul with love and peace, and He shows me how blessed I am.
I know that we have a prophet on the earth today. The men and women who lead in my church, they are good people. I hear them encouraging me and my family to do good, to be better, and to remember the Savior.
I believe that the covenants that I have made as a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints strengthen and protect me and my family. I believe in holy covenants, like baptism and marriage. There is power in lives blessed by holy commitments.
After conference, after dinner, after cousins were kissed and sent on their way and before bedtime, Todd and I escaped (amidst a crowd of anxious, waving and yelling of "Bye MOM! Bye Dad!") for a quiet stroll out back.
I actually WALKED the whole way!!
Tears sprang to my eyes as I saw my home from the distance (with a chorus of waving children on our porch).
I actually started out the walk whining to Todd about how awful things are. My babies are sick. Honestly, I am embarrassed at how rotten and sassy my kids have been lately. And, considering they are my whole life's investment, I pretty much felt like a failure.
Looking at my life from the distance, I was changed.
I could see how much God loves me.
He has blessed me with so much.
Walking hand in hand with my husband, I was reminded that there is POWER in parenting. There is power in two people, united under God, who are trying to teach goodness.
Todd and I prayed together in the woods for our family.
We claimed the power that is promised, through the covenants that we have made, to raise our family in goodness.
We felt the Spirit whisper to us JOY, PEACE and HOPE.
We set some personal goals for this week and we planned or family home evening for Monday night.
Bedtime went smoothly. Children seemed a little less hopeless.
As we sat down to play our end of the night card game with Todd's mom, she suggested we helped our kids set personal goals and have individual interviews with them. That was the same thing we had just talked about on our walk. God spoke to her and to us and inspired us both to do one simple thing to bless our family. God is real. He loves families.
Before we went to bed, I unpacked our trusty family journal.
We wrote down a simple goal for each of our kids and wrote down a list of priorities that Todd and I need to remember and plan for.
We went to bed unified and hopeful.
We woke to a home alive and lived in.
Life is good.
Tonight, our family home evening will be on Self-Mastery.
As Todd meets one on one with each kid, we will eat cinnamon roll and play games at the kitchen table.
I love this talk from conference...
and, we are memorizing this quote--
Developing the Spiritual Within Us.
"Man's existence is but a test as to whether he will concentrate his efforts, his mind, his soul upon things which contribute to the comfort and gratification of his physical instincts ad passions, or whether he will make his life's end and purpose the acquisition of spiritual qualities.
"Every noble impulse, every unselfish expression of love, every brave suffering for the right; every surrender of self to something higher than self; every loyalty to an ideal; every unselfish devotion to principle; every act of self-control; every fine courage of the soul, undefeated by pretense or policy, but by being, doing, and living of good for the very good's sake-- that is spirituality, and God has asked us to develop the spiritual within us." President David O. McKay