Sunday, January 12, 2014

Lessons in Life

I had a couple of experiences that I wanted to record before I forgot them.  Both of them happened this weekend.  There is more to the stories than I want to record, so this is for me!!
The first one came on Saturday.  It was my birthday.  I was cleaning the toilet.  I thought about what an inglorious job that was to be doing on my birthday.  I was doing laundry, cleaning the house, vacuuming.  It was Saturday after all.  But cleaning the toilet?  Where was Reed?  Why was I left doing this on my birthday?  Reed was in the lab working.  It was Saturday.  Normally, this is the work I do on a Saturday, but it was my birthday.  Quickly on the heels of these thoughts came thoughts of my dear nephew, Kendall, who had passed away on Christmas day.  I thought of his journal entries that his father had shared at his funeral about choosing to be happy as he faced death.  I quickly realized that the jobs I was doing had to be done regardless of whether it was my birthday or not.  Even if I did not do them that day, they would still have to be done.  Reed was working because we had missed days in the lab.  In the last week, I had traveled to Utah to be with family for the Memorial Service for Kendall there.  A couple of days later, I flew to Kansas City, MO to be there with Josh and Staci as they were sealed in the temple.  It was a wonderful time and I was so grateful that I had the means to be able to do those things.  I also knew that in a few more days I would be flying with Reed to the east coast.  He had his yearly long range planning meetings with the Clay Minerals Society and we usually take a week and stay at the beach house. These are huge blessings to me.  I am very grateful for them.  I had talked with my kids.  Reed and I were planning on going out to dinner and a movie.  So in that moment, I chose to be happy.  I chose not to be grumpy that I was cleaning a toilet on my birthday and instead to be happy.  I thought of Kendall and I was happy that in this small way I chose to be happy!!
The second experience came during Relief Society today.  We were discussing the lesson about Heavenly Father from Joseph F. Smith.  He talked about how our Heavenly Father is real and that he knows us and cares about us personally.  I suddenly made a connection between that and an experience that Jackie and Zach had the day before.  The 2 older boys were attending a birthday party at a pool.  Shortly after they got there, Kayden, who is 6 years old got into water that was way over his head.  He can swim, but being only 6 he doesn't swim very well.  He realized that he was in water that was too deep and he began to panic.  As he panicked he began to flail.  He was really struggling.  The lifeguard did not notice him as he was distracted by so many kids in the pool.  Zach didn't even think about it.  He saw his son in trouble and he jumped the fence that separated him from the spectators and the pool deck and then jumped into the pool.  Clothes and all.  He sacrificed his phone.  All to rescue a son who was panicking in water that was over his head.  This story came flooding into my mind as I realized the parallel between this and how my Heavenly Father loves me.  Sometimes I get in over my head and I panic and I begin to flail.  He is always there, even when the world may be distracted and not notice me.  He is there to lift me up and keep my head above the water and lead me to safer ground.  He does not hesitate, he does not care what the sacrifice is, he just jumps in.  Thank you Zach for reminding me of how much a father loves his children.  How much my Father loves me.