Sunday, June 2, 2013

Sunday Evening

Tonight, while the chocolate chip cookies cooled on the counter, and Hallie and Hanna played with their baby dolls together in sweet harmony, Heather and I went outside to enjoy the evening.  It was so much fun, just me and my not-so-baby-anymore-baby, and I thought I want to write a blog post about this. 

Walking barefoot with her in the grass, her finger grasped tightly around mine because backyards are tricky, uneven walking surfaces. 

Enjoying the last bit of the sun's warmth of the day, the light softened and gentle.  If you ask me, that's the best way for the sun to be.

Introducing her for the first time to the perfect delights of swinging, my legs cramping and my stomach starting to swirl but she never wanted to stop.  And so we didn't.  (For a long, long time.)

I thought I would write about all these things, this nice evening we had, and then I realized that if I did, you would think that was what my entire evening was like.  I mean, it was like that.  But it was also like -

One sister pushing another off the chair because she wants to help make the cookies.

Refusing to eat dinner until it was cold and yucky and I wouldn't have wanted to eat it, either.

A poopy diaper.

 Crying and yelling and fighting and hitting and falling and crying and shouting and biting.

I wasn't planning on mentioning those parts of the evening not because I want to pretend my life is perfect, or that the girls never do those things, but because I don't particularly like to dwell on those moments.  I'd rather write about the things that I want to remember someday, the parts that make me happy. 

So please know, my house is usually more on the cluttered side than the perfectly clean side, my dinners are sometimes burnt, there are a lot of tears and sometimes they are mine, and things aren't always perfect around here but I like to focus on the moments that are perfect.  The moments when I can see eternity with this little family of mine stretching out before me and my spirit sings with the joy of it.

Speaking of joy, I read this talk yesterday and I've been thinking about it all day since.

"Every one of us has times when we need to know things will get better....everyone needs to be able to look forward to some respite, to something pleasant and renewing and hopeful, whether that blessing be near at hand or still some distance ahead. It is enough just to know we can get there, that however measured or far away, there is the promise of “good things to come.”  My declaration is that this is precisely what the gospel of Jesus Christ offers us, especially in times of need. There is help. There is happiness. There really is light at the end of the tunnel. It is the Light of the World, the Bright and Morning Star, the “light that is endless, that can never be darkened.”  To any who may be struggling to see that light and find that hope, I say: Hold on. Keep trying. God loves you. Things will improve...

"Even if you cannot always see that silver lining on your clouds, God can, for He is the very source of the light you seek. He does love you, and He knows your fears. He hears your prayers. He is your Heavenly Father, and surely He matches with His own the tears His children shed. ... No one’s eyes were more penetrating than [Christ's], and much of what He saw pierced His heart. Surely His ears heard every cry of distress, every sound of want and despair. To a degree far more than we will ever understand, He was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.”  ... Some blessings come soon, some come late, and some don’t come until heaven; but for those who embrace the gospel of Jesus Christ, they come."

Excuse me for a moment while I get a tissue and dry my eyes.  Sometimes my heart gets so heavy with all the pain and suffering in the world, all the tragedies and trials that people have to go through, and I start to wonder how anyone can carry on through all of it.  I get renewed hope though, each Sunday in church when I get to go sing with the small children.  Every song we sing pretty much covers one of three topics, and often it touches more than one:

1. Life is beautiful.
2. We can make good choices.
3. Jesus loves me.

And every week when I look into those faces, those eyes still filled with perfect innocence, largely untouched by the troubles of the world, I think that if I can just get them to really really know that life is so good, and that they can always make good choices, and that Jesus always loves them, then there really is hope for the world.  Because when they grow up and life gets hard and things seem bleak, maybe those songs from their childhood will come back and give them hope and strength, just as they give me hope and strength right now.  Elder Holland gives me hope and strength, too.

Listen to and read his entire talk, here.


  1. That's fantastic. :) I remember struggling through a really dark, difficult time a few years ago. I was regularly meeting with a therapist, and the thing she said that gave me the most hope was that this phase - the one I was working through with her - wasn't going to last forever. I didn't know when it would end, I didn't fully know all the hard work that was ahead of me to get through it, but the knowledge that that dark time WOULD end was all I needed at that point. I'm grateful when I can remember that now during hard times. Life is just full of phases, and the dark ones have their end, too.
    Oh, and Elder Holland is totally my favorite. :)

  2. I love this talk...and Elder Holland. Sometimes we all need reminders that life has beauty in it everywhere and that there is always hope. Great post Ames.

  3. Thank goodness for gospel perspective and living prophets and apostles to keep us looking upwards for the good in life!

  4. Your post reminds me of council received when I was a young adult I believe from Pres. Kimball, who encouraged us in our journals to focus on the positive and leave a record that would uplift and hearten those that come after us.

    I believe this is part of why you tend to write about these wonderful moments and minimize the other challenging ones;

    and every Sunday in Junior primary as I sing with the 4-5 year olds, I imagine you leading the singing in NE; being with these young spirits is now the high light of my week.

  5. One of our CTR4's gave Dad a picture he colored of a super hero, torn out of a coloring book, and told Dad it was a picture of him (Dad). CTR4's know about people's hearts. If you could see Dad's face when he sings and the faces of those kids you would know it is the highlight of his week and that they love him! :)
    Primary ... its not just for kids.
    I felt like I was walking with you in the gentle warmth of the evening. Thanks for taking me along.

  6. Thanks, Amy. I really need to remember those truths. Life can definitely get me down, and it is beautiful to peel everything away and remember that everything ugly will come to an end and I can still make good choices.

    I really could "see" your walk with Heather. You described it beautifully. Thank goodness our kids give us those blissful moments in between the biting, screaming, pooping ones. :)