Sunday, April 7, 2013

flying kites for Conference

There is a General Conference held twice a year for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latterday Saints.  They really are two of my favorite weekends of the year.  The messages from church leaders are like food for the soul to me.  And having the opportunity to attend church anywhere that the radio/internet can be found is an added bonus!

We decided to enjoy conference at Antelope Island.  It is one of my favorite locations in this beautiful state.  And it is within an hour of our home!  It really has an oceanic feeling to me---even though this salty water is not crashing on the shore.  In fact it is quite stagnate and filled with brine shrimp. 

One of the lessons that stood out strongest for me amidst the flood of wisdom from the conference was regarding the gift of childhood.  

 A young father recently learned of the passing of his extraordinary second-grade teacher. In memory of her, he wrote: “Of all the feelings and experiences I remember, the feeling most prevalent in my mind is ‘comfort.’ She may have taught me spelling, grammar, and math, but far more importantly she taught me to love being a child. In her classroom, it was OK to spell a word wrong here and there; ‘We’ll work on it,’ she’d say. It was OK to spill or tear or smudge; ‘We’ll fix it and we’ll clean it up,’ she would respond. It was OK to try, OK to stretch, OK to dream, and OK to enjoy those pleasures that come from the insignificant things that only children find exciting.”

One of the greatest influences a person can have in this world is to influence a child. Children’s beliefs and self-worth are shaped early in their lives. Everyone within the sound of my voice has the power to increase a child’s confidence in himself or herself and to increase a child’s faith in Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ through the words they speak.  The Words We Speak by Rosemary M. Wixom

Sometimes I feel like it is my job to notice and address wherever we (my family and I) are falling short- as if that is helpful, encouraging or inspiring.  The lines of what is important and worth correcting are sometimes blurred for me.  I am sorry to say---after listening to this wonderful talk---I realized that I spend too much time, worry and concern over made beds, homework and music practice.  I also went away feeling like I want to improve on encouraging words, more time at the foot of our daughters beds-tucking them in at night and more evening walks as a family holding Danny's hand.  If I take the lead on being helpful and encouraging instead of turning mistakes into teaching moments the love will increase in our home...and in our hearts.

I love what Elder Holland shared in the same meeting-

  So be kind regarding human frailty—your own as well as that of those who serve with you in a Church led by volunteer, mortal men and women. Except in the case of His only perfect Begotten Son, imperfect people are all God has ever had to work with. That must be terribly frustrating to Him, but He deals with it. So should we. And when you see imperfection, remember that the limitation is not in the divinity of the work. As one gifted writer has suggested, when the infinite fulness is poured forth, it is not the oil’s fault if there is some loss because finite vessels can’t quite contain it all. Those finite vessels include you and me, so be patient and kind and forgiving. Lord I Believe by Elder Jeffrey R Holland

It is important to be kind and gentle to our loved ones, friends and neighbors...but also to ourselves-focusing on the goodness in ourselves and others; spend time together enjoying one another's company...without agenda or judgement.  

This particular Sunday we enjoyed Antelope Island.  We had sunshine on our backs and joyful children at our feet.  I noticed the neglected kites we own, stacked in a corner of the garage, and decided to throw them in the trunk before we left.  The girls were thrilled to carry them out to the sandy beach.  The wind was gentle and I wasn't sure that they would fly that day.  Their enthusiasm was contagious and we began assembling.  We discussed string length and wind direction.  We held the kite in the air as they took off running into the lazy breeze.  As they ran the kite lifted!  They ran and ran and ran and ran.  As the kites soared and their smiles grew my soul was fed once again.  It was just one more reminder of the gift it is to know and love a child- filled with joy, easy to love and beautiful people to emulate.

other Conference thoughts here and here.


Misty said...

Spring is never official without a good kite flying session! Beautiful thoughts and gorgeous pictures.

Stueller said...

So beautiful, I swear I feel like I am reading all my thoughts in words on your blog. You have such a beautiful ability to convey what I so often think and wonder about, what a breath of fresh air :)