what is a squiggle?

According to fifth-grade teacher Mrs. Hill, a squiggle is a beginning point, a small, wiggly line on a page with the potential to become something more--a brilliantly drawn fifth-grade picture!

A beginning point. A silly phrase from my preschooler, my teenager rolling his eyes, or my kindergartner deleting my entire 3rd chapter...

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Doctrine and Covenants 122:7

"And if thou shouldst be cast into the pit, or into the hands of murderers, and the sentence of death passed upon thee; if thou be cast into the deep; if the billowing surge conspire against thee; if fierce winds become thine enemy; if the heavens gather blackness, and all the elements combine to hedge up the way; and above all, if the very jaws of hell shall gape open the mouth wide after thee, know thou, my son, that all these things shall give thee experience, and shall be for thy good."

This scripture has been on my mind the last week, since my husband totaled his car in a one-car accident. We are told to liken the scriptures to ourselves, and this scripture is one that has often brought me comfort. But it also raises questions. The one I find myself asking the most is "what am I supposed to learn from this?" and second to that is "haven't I learned it yet so that this trial can end?"

I can honestly say that the accident has given us experience--I now know the difference between collision and comprehensive coverage as well as "actual cash value." I know how close we came to having a "gap" between how much we still owed on the car and how much the insurance company was willing to pay. And I know how resilient the cement wall dividing the freeway can be.

But as far as this occurence being for our good...I just don't know. Maybe the car was about to demand some major repairs that we couldn't afford (not that we could really afford to run out and buy my husband a new car, but we managed to make it work). Perhaps things are as simple as my husband said, and we just needed a jolt to make sure he's completely awake before he leaves for work. We may never know the reason the accident happened.

I do know that I feel at peace with what happened when I remember that the Lord is in charge. He knows everything, and he knows what is best for me and my family. I am so relieved that He doesn't ask me to find my way through life with my limited knowledge as a guide, but that He is willing to show me the way. I would make a mess of things on my own!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

1 Nephi 3:7

"And it came to pass that I, Nephi, said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commandeth them."

I've never really struggled with keeping the Sabbath day holy; for me that particular commandment has been easy. As soon as the prophets counseled us not to shop and do other activities on Sunday that would cause others to work, I made a conscious effort to see that my gas tank was filled on Saturday and that I had all of the items for meals and snacks for the coming Sabbath.

But this past Sunday, after already keeping the kids up late to celebrate my daughter's birthday, we discovered that our 16 month old was missing his pacifier. At first, we weren't too concerned--the little booger looses it all the time. So we checked the usual places: the garbage, the cabinets, the bathtub, etc, without any luck. Forty minutes ticked by and the pacifier refused to come out of its hiding place. By this time, our little toddler was getting cranky; he'd taken an abbreviated nap at church--maybe a third of his usual naptime.

My husband suggested that we try putting him down without it; now was a good time to break him of the habit. I started to agree when my optimistic teenager, who shares a room with her little brother, said, "I hope he doesn't wake up at all tonight."

So much for that idea. We kept looking, and I could tell my husband was starting to get frustrated. I had already seen my teenage son on his knees, praying for help finding the missing pacifier, so I decided to follow his example. I had 1 Nephi 3:7 in my head, and I thought that if the Lord could help Nephi obey his commandment to get the plates, then he could definitely help me keep the Sabbath holy (and not rush to the store to buy a new paci).

After my prayer and a little more searching, my husband announced, "I think the ox is in the mire." I didn't answer him. I knew he wanted to stop the search and go buy a new pacifier, but I didn't want to. We had to find the pacifier. Our other children sensed my urgency, and I noticed that some of them also said some prayers. I kept praying silently, telling the Lord how desperately I wanted to honor his day.

About this time, my husband's attitude changed. Instead of complaining about how long the search was taking and urging me to give in and go to the store, he started asking the kids where they had last seen the paci and where our son had played that day. "It's got to be in the girls' room," he concluded.

We'd looked there, multiple times. But we decided to search again. In a matter of minutes, my teenage daughter shouted, "I found it!" She picked up her little brother and poked it into his mouth; he clutched his blankie and leaned against her shoulder. I silently thanked the Lord for helping me to keep his commandment.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Matthew 6:8

"Be not ye therefore like unto them; for your Father knoweth what things ye have need of, before ye ask him."

Sometimes the Lord knows what we need even before we know of the need. I read a story about this in the September Friend. But it remained a distant concept to me until I experienced it first hand. Last week as I was dropping off the last of the kids from my carpool, their mother came outside carrying a 10-pound bag of potatoes. She asked if I could use a bag, and I thought about the half bag of potatoes that I had at home that was sprouting leaves and the full bag that I planned to use to make the next day's dinner. "Sure, I could use a bag."

When I arrived home, I told my teenage son that I'd traded three of his siblings for a bag of potatoes and placed the bag on the counter. That was the last thought I gave those potatoes until the next day when I was busy throwing ingredients into the crockpot for dinner. Once a week I have to prepare dinner ahead of time in order for the meal to be ready for our family to eat together in the thirty minute period between finishing the carpool and leaving for scouts and activity days. A crockpot meal on this day is vital.

So I had the meat cooking on the stove, and I was ready to start chopping up the potatoes and toss them into the pot. First I grabbed the bag of growing potatoes and discarded them, and then I reached for the bag I had purchased when I bought groceries the week before. Because they were hidden in their grocery bag still, I hadn't noticed that the entire bag of potatoes had begun to rot, but I smelled them as soon as I picked up the bag. In disbelief, I searched the bag, certain that some of the potatoes were still salvageable. But I was wrong. Every potato was moldy.
At that moment I remembered that new 10-pound bag that sat happily on the counter. I said a prayer of thanks as I washed each firm, fresh potato and cut them into chunks. The Lord had known my need and had filled it, before I was even aware of it.