Sunday, June 15, 2014

Don't wait for Disneyland

         Don't wait for Disneyland. 
         Disneyland bills itself as "The Happiest Place on Earth".  It is a lot of fun and there is definitely magic there.  But it shouldn't be the happiest place on earth. That should be home. 
        Home is where the heart is.  Where one feels welcome and safe. Where your favorite people are glad to see you.  A place of learning, laughter, songs, prayer, and companionable quiet.
        The happiest place on earth should be wherever you are with your family.  Shopping in Costco on a busy Saturday, I saw a father pushing the cart along the crowded aisles laughing and joking with his children as he had them help look for the items they needed. 
       Disneyland can be a great family vacation.  But it can be very expensive.  Don't wait until you can afford a super vacation to have fun with your family.  Be goofy at home.  Take walks together.  Play in the park.  Explore your neighborhood. Go to free or inexpensive community events.  Play games. Work together - chatting as you work.  Share yourselves with each other.
        My daughter took me to Disney World for a week.  I had a WONDERFUL time.  I want to go again.  But besides the attractions and the rides, the joy was that my daughter wanted to share it with me.  The magic was that cast members treated me - and everyone - like they were so glad to see me / them.  We can create that magic in our homes. 


   My parents were only 17 when I was born.  Their marriage did not last.  I did not see my birth father again until after I had a child of my own.  During my childhood there were two more men my mother married, who adopted me, divorced, and moved on without looking back. She married a fourth time after I was married, so he didn't adopt me. We never developed a deep relationship.
     I did a little better in providing a father for my children.  We were sealed in the temple and all my children were sired by the same man.  He provided for us enough that I could stay home with the children, but we always had to scrimp, while he did not.  He didn't just send his family to church; we all went.  He served well and faithfully in many church callings, too.  But whether or he loved us as best he could, it was not enough.  None of us are perfect, I know.  But he didn't love his wife and children as we should have been loved, provide for us as well as he could, preside in the home, or treat us with courtesy. 
      Partly because of the disappointments of the fathers in my life, in contrast I greatly admire and appreciate the men who are true  fathers.  Most of all, I am grateful that my grandchildren have good fathers. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Ava's baptism

     This morning I attended the baptism of one of our Primary girls who had recently turned 8.  Time taken away from always too-full Saturday.  This was a Stake youth baptism.  In our Stake, baptisms for all the children who have turned 8 are held on the 2nd Saturday.  Everyone meets together in the chapel for opening song, prayer, talk on baptism and perhaps a musical number.  Then one by one, each ward is dismissed to the Primary/font room for the baptism ordinance.  Baptism complete, the ward leaves the Primary room to another assigned room to wait while the baptizer and baptized change into dry clothes.  While waiting, they might listen to music or watch a video.  When all are together again, there is a talk about the Holy Ghost, the ordinance of confirmation, and welcome by a member of the Bishopric and then by a member of the Primary presidency.  Song, prayer, done.  Today 8 youth from 3 wards were baptized.  We went first, maybe because we had only one baptism and would be quickest.  Completely done in an hour. Time well invested.

     The meeting was very nice.  Nice talks.  The music touched me.

The opening song "When I am Baptized" is one of my favorites.

"I like to look for rainbows whenever there is rain
And ponder on the beauty of an earth made clean again.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again. 
"I know when I am baptized my wrongs are washed away,
And I can be forgiven and improve myself each day.
I want my life to be as clean as earth right after rain.
I want to be the best I can and live with God again. "
Then children singing "I Stand All Amazed" - another favorite
"I stand all amazed at the love Jesus offers me,
Confused at the grace that so fully he proffers me.
I tremble to know that for me he was crucified,
That for me, a sinner, he suffered, he bled and died.
"Oh, it is wonderful that he should care for me
Enough to die for me! 
Oh, it is wonderful, wonderful to me!"
      That was all lovely.  But when the Priesthood holder, dressed in white, stepped into the water and reached his hand to help young Ava, also dressed in white, step down, I began to cry.  Filled to overflow with a witness of the spirit. So happy for this beautiful, young girl to be making this major step in her life.  So grateful that the Priesthood has been restored on the earth and saving ordinances given to us.  The spirit witnesses to me that this is truth and life.  
     Nearly everyone there was damp of eye.   After the closing prayer, Ava, brimming with tears and smiles, hugged pretty much everyone who had come to her baptism.  She clearly "received the Holy Ghost" as invited and felt his witness and Heavenly Father's love.