Tuesday, July 21, 2009


Jesse Bear is at that age where he falls A LOT! With summer in full swing and his little bare knees we've had a lot of "Boo Boos" and bandaids. The other day I was looking at a book with him and he kept saying "Banay, Banay" and pointing at these frogs. I couldn't figure out what he was saying until I realized the frogs had red bands across their knees. Of course! He thought the frogs had bandaids on their knees!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

You Go First

You know who made my day today? A little boy - probably 3 or 4. I didn't know him. We were hiking on a narrow trail back from a beautiful waterfall. We were tired from hiking and camping. A little grumpy, maybe. You know how things are camping with little kids - dirty clothes and fingers, crying kids throughout the night, mosquito bites, toddlers almost falling into the fire, dirt-encrusted food, not enough cups or plates or diapers or whatever, and I could go on and on. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy camping, but camping with small children is a little stressful for me. I guess I just worry too much or something.

Anyway, as we came to a point where this little boy and his dad were hiking toward us I heard the little boy say to his Dad, "wait, Daddy." Then he and his dad moved to the edge of the trail and the boy turned to us, gave us a huge smile and said, "You go first." I couldn't help but smile after that. I'm still smiling about it actually. That kind gesture this boy showed us brightened my day so much. It reminded me once again that kindness really does make a difference. Aren't children so often the best examples of this? I've seen it in my own kids too. So many times when I want things to be "fair" my children remind me that it's better just to be nice. When I find myself trying to take my fair half out of the trail in life I hope I can remember that little boy and step aside for other struggling travelers.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

The Message I Needed

I love the July Ensign - I've already read the whole thing! I just wanted to share with you this little story from it that touched me so much! I've thought about this a lot since I've read it and it has brought a lot of peace to my heart. This story helped me see more clearly how the work of a mother fits in to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

Was I Living the Gospel Fully?

By Carolynn R. Spencer

Carolynn R. Spencer, “Was I Living the Gospel Fully?,” Ensign, July 2009, 71

My scripture study would have to wait. All three of our sons had awakened—and much earlier than usual. The youngest, Caden, then 18 months old, was screaming in his crib. I went into his room and saw instantly that he was sick.

Thus began a Monday of one challenge after another. At one point, shortly after I had changed Caden’s clothes and tried to feed him, he flung a large jar onto the floor, spilling applesauce everywhere and sending shattered glass across the kitchen. As I was cleaning up the mess, I thought about all the things I wasn’t getting done: family history, service, home storage, missionary work.

“How in the world can I do everything I know I should be doing when I am barely managing the basic tasks of my day?” I wondered. By early evening I was exhausted, but I set aside discouraging thoughts during dinner, family home evening, and the boys’ bath and bedtime routine.

Finally, with the children in bed, I sat down to do what I had not had time for earlier. I picked up the May 2006 Ensign, which was open to a talk by President Henry B. Eyring titled “As a Child.” My eyes fell on a passage I had previously marked: “To keep the blessing of [changed natures] in our hearts will require determination, effort, and faith. King Benjamin taught at least some of what that will require. He said that to retain a remission of our sins from day to day we must feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally” (Liahona and Ensign, May 2006, 17).

Immediately, I again felt that I wasn’t living the gospel fully. I wondered, “How can I feed the hungry, clothe the naked, visit the sick, and help people spiritually and temporally when I can scarcely take care of my own family?”

That’s when I experienced an overwhelming feeling of divine approval. It was so clear, precise, and tangible that I knew I had to write it down so I wouldn’t forget. I could see my day replay in my mind—full of feeding the hungry, doing laundry to clothe the naked (I changed Caden’s outfit multiple times), gently caring for our sick baby, helping our five-year-old prepare a family home evening lesson on missionary work, and then discussing the power of example with my family—in other words, helping people spiritually and temporally.

The impression flowed with such an overpowering feeling of peace that I knew the Lord was telling me He had accepted my offering. In caring for my family, I was fulfilling the admonitions of King Benjamin and President Eyring.