Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Accidents Happen and So Do Angels

Yesterday morning our entire family got into an accident.

A 15-passenger van accident.

We were on our way to school.  The roads were icy.  It was snowing. And because of the weather, traffic was heavier than usual.

We were all listening to a podcast on the Mormon Channel.  So everyone was chilling.  Our six year old daughter had fallen asleep on the very back bench, next to our fourteen year old who was staring at the floor while listening.  Our other children were in La La, too.

And while coming down a slight incline in the snowy, icy road I felt - ever so slight - a tug and pull from the back end. 

Now I have had felt my share of tugs and pulls from this enormous van I drive religiously.  One time, just a couple months ago, also while on the way to school, and also on an icy, cold day, the tug and pull was not so slight and we slid and spun 90 degrees into the oncoming lane of traffic and abruptly stopped at the curb.  We were looking directly into the welcoming arms of a cement wall, blocking an oncoming lane of traffic, but amazingly we hit nothing.  No one was hurt. No doubt we were protected that morning.  We remembered for days the protecting hand of God.

But unlike the HUGE tugs I've experienced, yesterday morning the tug and pull was ever so slight.  But when I felt it, I knew what was coming.  And boy, was I glad that my husband was driving.  He has a much cooler head than I when it comes to stuff like careening completely out of control with your most precious cargo in tow.

About 10 seconds after feeling the pull I heard my husband say, "Hold on!"

My gut was right.  And all I could see was a boulder the size of Volkswagon refusing to move out of our way.  "Phew," I remember thinking, "at least it's not oncoming traffic!" BOOM!

Within seconds, we found ourselves at one with this rock. The under carriage of our van lodged at the top of the boulder.  We looked like a teeter totter, but without the movement. Parts of our van were rolling off down the road.  Our daughter woke up and started crying.  My husband calmly asked, "Is everyone okay? Get the kids out of the van. I'll call your dad."

And the very moment 11 pairs of feet set foot on the snow-packed ground (okay 10, because our baby doesn't walk yet), God had already sent angels.

A man came and found a place for us to be protected from the elements.  A woman who appeared just seconds after the crash, graciously offered her car drove me and six of our children home.  Several others who drove by stopped and asked if they could to take our children to school. And while the tow truck was trying to figure how to extract a van from a boulder, a HUGE forklift truck just happened to come by.  It was the only way our van could become dislodged.

None of us were hurt.  The airbags didn't go off.  We didn't crash into anyone.  And had we hit the boulder in any other way, we would have rolled.

No doubt that God's protecting hand was over our family.

And over all those who were His angels.

Because I believe that when accidents happen, God will send angels.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Tidbit Tuesday - True Worship

"We have hundreds of thousands of youth in this heaven-blessed Church, and they must be taught the restored truth. But they must know that this truth includes virtue as well as worship and that there can be no true worship without chastity."

Mark E. Peterson
Conference Report, April 1965

Monday, February 27, 2012

Family Home Evening - The Holy Ghost and Praying to Our Heavenly Father

Since I didn't post last week's Family Home Evening Lesson idea, I'll add it to this week's post.

We got last Monday's lesson from HERE and this week's lesson from HERE.

The Holy Ghost
First of all we talked about the Holy Ghost - his personage of spirit and his relationship to the Godhead.

Then, we divided family members into pairs and gave one of the following clip art pictures:

- a campfire
- a warning sign
- a person giving a testimony in court
- the sun
- a compass
- a quilt

The assignment was for us to discover and share the mission of the Holy Ghost. Each companionship was to 1) discuss how their picture related to the Holy Ghost and 2) find a scripture that teaches the connection.

As we each shared what we learned, we also found ourselves recounting personal experiences we have had with the Holy Ghost. Even our youngest children were able to share.

Praying to Our Heavenly Father
We did like we did last week: divided into pairs, and each pair was to consider and discuss one of the following questions as presented in the manual:

- What is Prayer?
- Why Do We Pray?
- When Do We Pray?
- How Should We Pray?
- How Are Prayers Answered?

In discussing the answers, we were asked to use the scriptures to find a verse or a story to teach the answer. We were also asked to share a personal experience with prayer.

And the Highlight of Tonight's Family Home Evening . . . (drum roll, please),is when our fourteen year old son raised his hand and said, "I learned something about prayer." And there was a hush because usually he says something more along this line, "Uh, pretty much everything I heard tonight is just review."

"Heads up everyone," I announced, as I nodded for him to continue.

"Well, it's exactly what our Stake President said yesterday in Stake Conference. (Whoa. He was listening in Stake Conference?!)

"And what was that, son?" I coaxed. Because it is so nice to hear this teenage boy of mine talk about what he learned during Church.

"Remember the story he told of the two teenage boys?"

We all nodded, so he went on.

"They were caught speeding and the police that it would be a good idea for them to stay overnight in jail so maybe they would learn a lesson. Well, the next morning when they awoke, they realized it was Sunday.

'It's Sunday,' one of the boys said, 'our families are in church.'

'We should have our own church since we can't be with them,' replied the other. 'You say the opening prayer and I'll give a lesson.'

'Okay.' the first boy agreed as he bowed his head.

'Heavenly Father, we thank Thee for this beautiful day. We are so happy to be here. We are so grateful to meet in this beautiful building and hope those who are not here will be with us next week.'"

We all laughed.

"So," our 14 year old continued, "I think I need to be a little more aware of what I am doing and what I am saying in my prayers."

Para bing. Para bang.

Why the FBI Likes to Hire Returned Missionaries

Tonight my husband asks our teenage boys: "Do you know why the FBI likes to hire returned missionaries?"

To which our fourteen year old responds: "Because they are honest and they look good in suits!"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Comparing Myself

There was a story recounted in General Conference years ago that comes back to me every once in a while . . .

This usually happens when I step foot into a house that's "more" than mine, or when I'm in the company of women who are more educated than I, or when I come across incredible blogs that jump out and seem to say "Hey, can you see my ten-digit following!?"

And I am learning that happiness NEVER comes from comparing myself to anyone else . . . it only comes as I look to God and live.

BTW, the word happiness is not found in the Bible. But can be found 26 times in the Book of Mormon!!

Oh, and here's that wonderful reminder story told by Elder Gordon T. Watts of the Seventy, (which can also be found HERE.)

As a young boy, life on our small family farm was heaven. Often in our humble home there were not as many shingles as we had roof. The rest-room facility was connected by a long path that required some advance planning, and sometimes my worn shirt had more buttonholes than buttons. The Saturday night bath in front of a warm stove, where your body experienced both extremes in temperature, was a luxury.

Then something changed. I started school and began to notice possessions I had not known. Some had nice clothing, beautiful homes with all the modern conveniences, and drove newer automobiles. Many my age were not required to arise early and do chores before going to school, only to go home at night and do them all over again. While they were popular and confident, I became backward and shy. Regretfully, I began to forget how happy I had been with my basket of blessings as I indulged in comparing their seemingly endless bushels to mine. Thus, the blinders to humility began distorting reality, giving way to ingratitude. The expectation that more is deserved can cause our plate of plenty to appear empty. Gratitude has many faces and takes on many forms. Failure to recognize the Lord for all we have will soon result in selfish behavior.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Questions from My Six Year Old

So here are the questions put forth by my six year old this week. . .

#1: Why do you make recipes and not recipoos?

#2: Why do we use shampoo and not shampee?

I'd be glad to entertain any really good answers.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Thoughts

Here is something I learned while studying these verses of scripture from this week's Sunday School lesson (1 Nephi 22:16-17).  Take note of how the Lord will destroy the wicked and preserve the righteous.

For the time soon cometh that the fulness of the wrath of God shall be poured out upon all the children of men; for He will not suffer that the wicked shall destroy the righteous.

Wherefore, He will preserve the righteous by His power, even if it so be that the fulness of His wrath must come, and the righteous be preserved, even unto the destruction of their enemies by fire. Wherefore, the righteous need not fear; . . . they shall be saved, even if it so be as by fire.
So what I did know is that before the Lord comes a second time, those that believe not in the Lord Jesus Christ will be destroyed by fire (2 Nephi 6:15).

But what caught my attention is that it is also by fire that the Lord will preserve the righteous. And few fire-saving images illustrated in the scriptures came to my mind:

1. Baptism by fire/receiving the Holy Ghost (Doctrine and Covenants 20:41)
2. Tithing a.k.a. Fire Insurance (Doctrine and Covenants 64:23)
3. Guidance in a world of darkness (Exodus 13:21)
4. Purification - to receive His image in our countenances (Malachi 3:2)

Which made me take a personal inventory of where I stand and where my heart is.

Because righteousness binds Satan.

When Satan is bound he has no power.

And what I learned this week is that I don't have to wait until the Millennium to shake the very powers of @#!*% (see 1 Nephi 22:26 and Alma 48:17)!

Friday, February 3, 2012

Facing the Giants

You'd think that in a house full of seven boys and a husband who enjoys playing sports with his sons, Super Bowl Sunday would be the most anticipated Sunday of the year.

But not at our house.

We chose long ago that for our family Sundays would be dedicated to the Lord, not to sports.

But just this last week we discovered this amazing, uplifting movie. . . just in time for the Super Bowl Weekend.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

What NOT to Do With A Flour Baby

So several weeks ago my 8th grade son had a Flour Baby project.

10 pound bag of flour + duct tape + 24/7 flour-sitting for a week (which included 3 a.m. calls to the school to verify baby had been fed and changed) = an ever so small glimpse of what it takes to care for a baby.

It was an interesting week to say the least.

But what I was really looking forward to at the end of this week long flour baby project, was what I could do with that 10 extra pounds of flour!!

Copy Cat Krispy Kreme Doughnuts OR Homemade Cinnamon Burst Bread?

So after sitting on the kitchen counter for a few days, I took that flour baby and cut into that bad boy through all the layers of gray, duct tape.

And to my absolute devastation that flour was completely unusable.  Unless you like clumpy and gritty and crave the taste of what duct tape smells like.

So I threw it all away.

All of it.

Ten pounds of once beautiful flour.

No doughnuts. No bread.  But I am happy to report that my son treats his baby sister much better than his flour baby.